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What happened to Shia LaBeouf? The controversy surrounding the ‘Transformers’ actor’s career

Known for his roles in movies in the late 2000s and early 2010s, the American actor has been involved a series of controversies that derailed his career.

Harry Styles reemplazó a Shia LaBeouf luego de que éste fuera despedido del thriller psicológico "Don’t Worry Darling" por la directora y protagonista, Olivia Wilde, tras un altercado en el set.
Amy SussmanGetty Images

Like many young actors in Hollywood, Shia LaBeouf was once the next big thing. After a stint working in the Disney pipeline, his breakout role came by playing Sam Wittwicky in ‘Transformers’ before playing Mutt Williams in ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ a year later. Other big productions included a supporting role in 2014′s ‘Fury’ and a performance as John McEnroe in 2017.

However, in the last six years a number of scandals killed LaBeouf’s career and he has been largely out of the public eye. The Transformers series has not had LaBeouf involved since 2011.

The numerous controversies of Shia LaBeouf

In 2013, LaBeouf made headlines when he was accused of plagiarising the work of a graphic novelist for a short film he directed. The short film, ‘Howard’, lead to apologies on Twitter after the opening speech was found to be identical to the graphic novel.

“In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation” he tweeted. “I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work”.

The apology itself was rumoured to be lifted.

In 2017, LaBeouf was arrested for disorderly conduct, obstruction, and public intoxication in Georgia. He later issued an apology and sought treatment for substance abuse.

Three years later, LaBeouf faced a lawsuit from his ex-girlfriend, British singer FKA twigs, accusing him of physical and emotional abuse during their relationship. The lawsuit detailed instances of alleged assault and manipulation.

“I hurt that woman,” LaBeouf said on the Real Ones podcast last year. “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.”

The trial will take place later in 2023.

A return on the horizon?

Though it has been a long time since LaBeouf was a big name in Hollywood, 2024 could mark the return of the embattled actor.

Famous director Francis Ford Coppola cast LaBeouf in an unknown role in ‘Megalopolis’. The film has long been a passion project of Ford Coppola and is thought to have ballooned over the $100 million budget. Filming ended in March 2023 and is expected to come out next year.