Marvel was about to sign Shia LaBeouf.
Marvel Studios would have looked at Shia LaBeouf for a role in the MCU but the sexual assault lawsuit seems to have changed their minds.
According to Variety, after the success of Honey Boy, Marvel Studios had considered casting the star of the first Transformers installments, Shia LaBeouf, for a superhero role before the actor was sued for sexual assault.
Shia LaBeouf finds himself in the middle of the controversy, once again, after his ex-girlfriend singer, FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against him alleging that he subjected her to various types of abuse. The couple met on the set of Honey Boy, the actor’s autobiographical film based on his childhood and his relationship with his father, and began dating. According to FKA Twigs, LaBeouf abused her physically and verbally. On top of that, the actor also knowingly infected her with sexually transmitted diseases in an effort to control her in the relationship. Since presenting this information, Twigs has received overwhelming support from its peers in the industry and the public.
However, before these charges came to light, Marvel Studios was even considering LaBeouf for a superhero role in the MCU. Variety indicates that Kevin Feige and his team were impressed with the actor following the success of Honey Boy. No further details are provided in the article, not even the role they were thinking for, but the outlet says that as these allegations slowly come to light, Marvel withdrew and never met with LaBeouf.
The success of Honey Boy could have opened the doors to the MCU
Marvel Studios is known for having star-studded casts, often taking risks with their hires as long as they are perfect for the envisioned project. In its career of more than a decade, the MCU has brought a variety of talents both in front of and behind the cameras, and, for the most part, these choices finally worked. Considering the success of Honey Boy, followed by another critical success, The Peanut Butter Falcon, it’s understandable that Shia LaBeouf caught the attention of Kevin Feige and company.
It’s true that LaBeouf doesn’t seem like the type of actor to take on superhero roles, but over the years, the MCU has turned performers like Chris Pratt and Paul Rudd into true comic book heroes. Marvel Studios is also known for fostering a great work environment for its projects. So Marvel Studios may have been put off by claims that he’s difficult to work with. After all, with an established brand, they can simply look for other actors who are also capable of doing a good job, and who do not cause production problems. Most importantly, casting an actor accused of hurting and abusing women as a superhero is simply wrong, especially since he previously admitted to having these tendencies.
It’s worth noting that Marvel Studios has never shied away from hiring actors who have been plagued with personal problems before. In the mid-2000s, Robert Downey Jr. was not the global star that he is now. The actor was bogged down by a history of addiction problems and even served a term in prison, but Iron Man director Jon Favreau took a chance and cast him as Tony Stark. However, to be fair, Downey was never charged with harassment the way LaBeouf is now; I was just having substance dependence problems. By the time he joined MCU, he had been sober for several years and made sure to make the most of the opportunity he was given.