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updated: 2/21/2013 5:14 PM

Ben Foster replaces Shia LaBeouf on Broadway's 'Orphans'

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  • Associated PressActor Ben Foster will replace Shia LaBeouf in the Broadway play "Orphans." LaBeouf left the production Wednesday due to creative differences.

      Associated PressActor Ben Foster will replace Shia LaBeouf in the Broadway play "Orphans." LaBeouf left the production Wednesday due to creative differences.

  • Actor Shia LaBeouf is pulling the plug on his Broadway debut. The star of the "Transformers" franchise had been slated to appear opposite Alec Baldwin in "Orphans," but producers said Wednesday that LaBeouf would not be continuing "due to creative differences."

      Actor Shia LaBeouf is pulling the plug on his Broadway debut. The star of the "Transformers" franchise had been slated to appear opposite Alec Baldwin in "Orphans," but producers said Wednesday that LaBeouf would not be continuing "due to creative differences."
    Associated Press file photo

 
By Mark Kennedy
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Shia LaBeouf is out. Ben Foster is in.

A day after LaBeouf stepped away from the play that would have marked his Broadway debut, he was replaced by Foster.

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Foster whose film roles include "3:10 to Yuma" and "The Laramie Project" had auditioned for the revival of Lyle Kessler's play "Orphans" but had lost the role to the star of the "Transformers" franchise.

After LaBeouf left the production on Wednesday due to creative differences, Foster was picked. After the change was announced, LaBeouf tweeted: "Ben Foster is a beast. He will kill it" in all capital letters.

The play, which premiered in 1983, tells the story of two orphaned brothers living in a decrepit Philadelphia row house who decide to kidnap a wealthy man. LaBeouf was to play one brother and and Tom Sturridge the other; Baldwin will be the target.

The switch in actors hasn't delayed the show. Producers said "Orphans" will still open March 19 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.

LaBeouf apparently stepped away from the play without burning too many bridges -- at least according to the messages he's posted on Twitter. The actor published email messages between him, Baldwin and director Daniel Sullivan that indicated a somewhat amicable, if anguished, split.

"Sorry for my part of a dis-agreeable situation," he wrote to Baldwin in an email posted on LaBeouf's Twitter feed. LaBeouf also posted his audition video.

Baldwin apparently wrote to the younger actor: "I don't have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word."

As for Sullivan, the director apparently wrote to LaBeouf after the decision was made that the actor leave the show: "This one will haunt me. You tried to warn me. You said you were a different breed. I didn't get it."

A press representative for the show said the messages were legitimate.

LaBeouf seemed still somewhat shaken by the whole experience Thursday, writing on Twitter a series of slogans with opaque meanings.

"The theater belongs not to the great but to the brash. acting is not for gentlemen, or bureaucratic-academics. what they do is antiart," he wrote in one tweet.

He also posted an image of a commiserative email apparently from Rick Sordelet, a veteran fight director, who said, "It was obvious you were going to turn in a fantastic performance." In the same message, Sordelet wrote: "It must have been difficult for others in the room to be schooled by someone who's raw talent and enthusiasm out matched theirs." It was likely a note not intended for the rest of the company to see.

LaBeouf, whose other films include "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," was also recently seen in John Hillcoat's crime drama "Lawless."

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