Shia LaBeouf (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
"Due to creative differences, the producers of 'Orphans' and Shia LaBeouf will be parting ways and he will not be continuing with the production," the show's office said via a statement Wednesday.
LaBeouf was to play Treat, a petty thief caring for his younger brother, opposite Tom Sturridge and headliner Alec Baldwin. The statement said a replacement will be announced shortly.
That day likely won't come soon enough – the show starts previews on March 19 and is slated for an April 7 opening.
omg! spoke with a source close to the production, who admitted that LaBeouf's casting was never the most solid of transactions.
"Alec spent weeks reading with actors for Treat," the source said of the part. "Shia was a last-minute addition to the short list, with nowhere near as much vetting. But he's a name."
And now he's a name that won't appear alongside Baldwin's on the marquee. LaBeouf attempted to explain the sudden departure by posting on Twitter several email exchanges, including one with Baldwin.
Under the caption "Creative Differences," he shared an email entitled "Apology" in which Shia lists what he feels makes a man, including, "A man can tell you when he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to." Later, he adds, "Alec, Im sorry for my part of a dis-agreeable situation."
Another post -- this one along with the tweet, "'acting has become a profession of the genteel class' - David Mamet" -- shows an email exchange with Baldwin himself, who says, "When change comes, how do we handle it, whether it be good or bad? What do we learn? I don't have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word."
Shia responded, "Same. Be well. Good luck on the play. You'll be great."
LaBeouf will be seen in his native venue, the cineplex, in this year's "The Company You Keep" opposite Robert Redford.
UPDATE: The show's rep has announced that actor Ben Foster will be replacing Shia in "Orphans" on Broadway. The curtain is still set to rise on March 19 for previews, with opening night slated for April 7.
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