Ben Foster, the gritty and intense star of "The Messenger" and "3:10 to Yuma," will replace Shia LaBeouf in the upcoming Broadway production of "Orphans," the show's producers said Thursday.
The play marks Foster's Broadway debut. Though not as bankable as LaBeouf, he has built a reputation as a critical favorite, with his searing performances in the likes of "Alpha Dog" (2007) and "Rampart" (2011). He will next be seen playing William Burroughs opposite Daniel Radcliffe's Allen Ginsberg in the upcoming indie film, "Kill Your Darlings," which premiered at Sundance this year.
The production co-stars Alec Baldwin and is directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan ("Proof"). "Orphans" will proceed as scheduled, for now, with previews beginning March 19 and opening night on April 7 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.
LaBeouf abruptly departed the revival of Lyle Kessler's play on Wednesday, citing "creative differences."
LaBeouf was also slated to make his Great White Way debut in "Orphans," but according to a source close to the production, he clashed with producers Frederick Zollo and Robert Cole. The actor took the unusual step this week of publishing private correspondence with Sullivan, Baldwin and other members of the production in an apparent attempt to explain his exit from the show.
Foster will play Treat, a petty thief who along with his brother, played by Tom Sturridge, kidnaps a rich older man (Baldwin), only to form a bond with him.
"Orphans" was premiered1983 and has been a vehicle for everyone from Albert Finney to "Risky Business" star Joe Pantoliano, but it has never been produced on Broadway. A 1987 film version was made by Alan J. Pakula, but received mediocre notices.