Shia LaBeouf recently revealed in an interview with Variety that he was passed over for the inconsequential role of Lt. GQ Edwards that Scott Eastwood ended up playing in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.
“I don’t think Warner Bros. wanted me,” he says. “I went in to meet, and they were like, ‘Nah, you’re crazy. You’re a good actor, but not this one.’ It was a big investment for them.”
This has prompted DC fans to start campaigning to see him take on the meatier role of Jason Todd in The Batman and possibly other DC cinematic universe projects. Fans have started a petition to get Shia cast in the role of villain turned anti-hero Red Hood.
It’s a more positive campaign this time around, as previous petitions tried to shutdown Rotten Tomatoes (owned by Warner Bros.) over perceived “critical bias” towards Batman v Superman/Suicide Squad and also attempted to have the studio replace Zack Snyder as the director of Justice League days before production began in London.
Jason Todd was originally the second Robin and died brutally at the hands of the Joker (Jared Leto), it’s been established in both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad this has already happened years ago. He was killed off in the comics as well and stayed dead until he returned as the villain The Red Hood (Joker’s original persona).
There had been rumblings that Warner Bros. have big plans for the character, hence the setup in Batman v Superman and there had been rumors pointing to Red Hood’s involvement in Ben Affleck’s The Batman.
Shia just happens to have a connection to co-writer, director and star of The Batman, Ben Affleck.
One of his big-breaks moving from television into feature films was starring in 2003’s The Battle of Shaker Heights, where he worked with producers Ben Affleck (Ben kissed him at the premiere as seen in the header image) and Matt Damon via HBO’s Project Greenlight.
He also admitted in an interview with Interview Magazine that Ben tried to help him early on in his career with advice.
I was just joyful to have a trade. At that point, meeting Ben Affleck and Matt Damon was like, “Wow.” I’d worked with Jon Voight on Holes, and he was a hero for my father. But Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were heroes from my generation. It was a level that I didn’t think I would ever attain. We were still living in this “Holy shit, this is really happening to us” kind of thing.
So it was big for all of us when Project Greenlight [the HBO reality show, the second season of which documented the embattled making of Shaker Heights] happened. My mother was so impressed with Ben Affleck being at the premiere. Ben is a really charming dude. He was the first guy who really took me off to the side and made me feel like I could do it.
Ben is a really charming dude. He was the first guy who really took me off to the side and made me feel like I could do it. [He said,] ‘keep your head on straight, kid, and don’t let all this get to you.” He knew that I had cameras in my face and that there were expectations to perform. I think that’s always been my issue. I’m prone to theatrics in my life.
When you’re in front of a film crew, the worst thing that an actor can be is boring, and that flows over into my life. Ben saw that I turned reality up to 11. I was a wild man at that wrap party. I was still very edgy and remained so for a long time—and that was sort of my appeal to a lot of directors and casting agents. Ben saw that and was trying to curb it before it became an issue. He was unsuccessful…
LaBeouf has also recently come out to admittedly disown a bunch of the films he made with Steven Spielberg, including Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull along with the Transformers sequels. At the very least, he knows when he’s made a crappy movie.
The actor has also stated he’s sworn off blockbuster roles, so who knowns if he’s even looking to be apart of those movies.
We still don’t have concrete knowledge about the direction of The Batman, outside of Deathstroke being a villain and it not being set entirely in Arkham Asylum. It’s possible we might be see Red Hood, but it’s not a given.
What do you think of the idea of Shia playing The Red Hood?