Reports surfaced earlier this month indicating that the controversial actor was circling a leading role in Coppola’s passion project. Now, with production slated to begin this fall, LaBeouf’s casting has been confirmed.
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Also set to join the picture — which already boasts an all-star lineup including Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jon Voight and Laurence Fishburne — are Talia Shire, Coppola’s sister who starred in his “Godfather” films; “The French Dispatch” actor Jason Schwartzman (Shire’s son); Grace VanderWaal (“Star Girl”); Kathryn Hunter (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”); and James Remar (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”).
Coppola wrote the screenplay for the film in the 1980s, and the legendary “Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” director is financing the dream project himself. The plot has remained largely under wraps, with the story reportedly set in an alternate reality version of New York City dubbed “New Rome,” but the film’s official logline teases new details: “The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic story of political ambition, genius and conflicted love.”
Giant Freaking Robot was the first to report news of LaBeouf’s casting, which comes after the star had been all but blacklisted from Hollywood after musician FKA Twigs, his former romantic partner, filed a lawsuit against him in 2020 for sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit alleged multiple incidents of physical abuse during the couple’s one-year relationship in 2018 and 2019, with the musician claiming LaBeouf at one point nearly choked her to death. The lawsuit has yet to go to trial.
After the allegations broke, LaBeouf, who has a history of legal issues and arrests, issued an apology, eventually left his management agency CAA and reportedly sought inpatient treatment. Although the “Transformers” and “Indiana Jones” actor hasn’t starred in a Hollywood film since, he is set to appear in Abel Ferrara’s “Padre Pio,” which will open at the Venice Film Festival’s Venice Days section later this summer.
He opened up about the abuse allegations for the first time on Jon Bernthal’s podcast “Real Ones,” saying “I hurt that woman,” without naming Twigs. “And in the process of doing that, I hurt many other people, and many other people before that woman. I was a pleasure-seeking, selfish, self-centered, dishonest, inconsiderate, fearful human being,” he said.
He also discussed “taking accountability” for his actions and being in a better headspace now, and ready to work again.
LaBeouf recently denied director Olivia Wilde’s claim that he was fired from “Don’t Worry Darling.” “I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse,” he said in an email he forwarded to Variety and claimed to have sent to Wilde.
Coppola is repped by Hirsch, Wallerstein, Hayum, Matlof + Fishman and 42West; LaBeouf is repped by John Crosby Management and attorney Matt Saver; Schwartzman is repped by UTA, Ocean Avenue and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern; VanderWaal is repped by LBI Entertainment, WME, Ziffren Brittenham and Narrative; and Remar is repped by Oppenheimer.
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