The Hollywood Reporter notes that “Orphans” was set to start previews on March 19, with a full opening following on April 7. The 26-year-old LaBeouf was set to star as “Treat,” the older brother of a character played by Tom Sturridge. No replacement has yet been announced.
"Due to creative differences, the producers of 'Orphans' and Shia LaBeouf will be parting ways, and he will not be continuing with the production. An announcement on the replacement for the role of 'Treat' will be made shortly," read a press release to the Hollywood Reporter.
Considering the actor’s recent attempts to transform himself into an artsy, independent film type, the “creative differences” that caused LeBeouf to quit “Orphans” could be nearly anything, though the New York Times states that director Sullivan had issues with LaBeouf’s “performance choices.”
Last year, the “Transformers” and “Indiana Jones” star, who got his start on a Disney TV comedy, told the Hollywood Reporter that he would focus only on independent features and artistic pieces from now on.
"I'm done," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "There's no room for being a visionary in the studio system. It literally cannot exist. You give Terrence Malick a movie like 'Transformers,' and he's f---ed. There's no way for him to exist in that world."
Still, no legitimate explanation for LaBeouf’s disappearance can ever be as entertaining as the AV Club’s idea that perhaps “Alec Baldwin showed up to rehearsal in an Optimus Prime mask and Shia LaBeouf flipped out,” so let’s just all pretend that’s what really happened.