Shia LaBeouf has dropped out of a revival of "Orphans" less than a month before it will open on Broadway. In a statement, the show's producers cited "creative differences" as the reason for the "Transformers" star's departure.
His exit will deprive Broadway of one of its biggest names in its slate of spring openings. Although stars like Tom Hanks ("Lucky Guy") and Bette Midler ("I'll Eat You Last") are scheduled to appear in original plays, there was a great deal of anticipation for LaBeouf's performance. The actor has been trying to show that he is more than his leading man roles in big-budget productions like "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." He recently stripped naked for a music video and has been appearing in edgier fare like last summer's crime drama "Lawless" and Lars von Trier's upcoming sex opus "Nymphomaniac."
The show's producers said they would announce a replacement for his role shortly.
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock") co-stars in the play which is written by Lyle Kessler and directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan ("Proof").
Producers said they will continue with their current production schedule. Previews were slated to begin March 19, and opening night was set for April 7 at the Schoenfeld Theatre. Posters featuring LaBeouf have been plastered throughout the city.
LaBeouf was set to play a petty thief who kidnaps a rich older man (Baldwin), only to form a bond with him.
The play was first performed in 1983 and has been a vehicle for everyone from Albert Finney to "Risky Business" star Joe Pantoliano. This will mark its first appearance on the Great White Way. A 1987 film version was made by Alan J. Pakula, but received mediocre notices.