In an email LaBeouf allegedly sent to Wilde that Variety published two days after it released its cover story with Wilde in which it was implied that she terminated LaBeouf from the film, the former Even Stevens star insists he quit the production. A source close to the project confirms to EW that LaBeouf was not formally fired from the film.
"I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired," LaBeouf reportedly wrote, before calling the use of his name "attractive clickbait" for Wilde's Don't Worry Darling press tour. "You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn't find time to rehearse."
He continued: "Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects [sic] you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be."
Variety also reported it had seen video and text message exchanges between LaBeouf and Wilde, though EW was unable to verify the contents of the alleged correspondence. Representatives for Wilde and Don't Worry Darling distributor Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Mike Marsland/WireImage; Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage Shia LaBeouf; Olivia Wilde
While addressing LaBeouf's exit in her cover story with Variety, Wilde said she was an "admirer of his work" but that "his process was not conductive to the ethos" that she demanded on set with the cast, including lead actors Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, the latter of whom eventually replaced LaBeouf.
"He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don't personally believe that is conducive to the best performances," actress-director told the outlet. "I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job."
After he departed the film, LaBeouf's ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs, with whom he starred in Honey Boy, sued him for physical, emotional, and mental abuse. The actor refuted the accusations, with court documents outlining that he "denies generally and specifically each and every allegation," per Reuters. He later sought treatment at an inpatient facility.
"A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior," Wilde told Variety. "I find myself just really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice. But for our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence [Pugh] to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported."
Don't Worry Darling follows a 1950s housewife, Alice (Pugh), who is living with her husband, Jack (Styles), in an experimental community in which another housewife goes missing. The film — which also stars Chris Pine, Kiki Layne, Gemma Chan, and Nick Kroll — is out on Sept. 23.
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