The actor was originally cast as Jack Chambers, a role now played by Harry Styles, in the upcoming psychological thriller opposite Florence Pugh.
His departure from the project in 2020 was originally cited by the studio as a “scheduling conflict”, until director Wilde claimed to Variety that she fired him in order to create a “safe, trusting environment” on set.
“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work,” Wilde said. “His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. 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.
“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.”
According to the report, LaBeouf’s reps declined to comment on the story. Since its publication, however, LaBeouf reportedly sent an email on Thursday (August 25) to the outlet, claiming he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time” on August 17, 2020.
The actor also forwarded two emails he claims to have sent to Wilde on August 24 and 25 after Variety’s story was published, where he wrote to her: “You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
LaBeouf also sent Variety screenshots of text messages he reportedly sent to Wilde in August 2020, explaining that he’d have to back out from the role. According to the texts, LaBeouf and Wilde met in person in Los Angeles on August 16, 2020 to discuss his exit from the film, where she wrote: “Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. Doesn’t feel good to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty.”
The actor claims he “officially” quit Don’t Worry Darling the next day on August 17, 2020.
NME has reached out to Wilde and LaBeouf’s representatives for comment.
In the full email LaBeouf sent to Wilde about the cover story, published in full on Variety, the actor also refers to his legal dispute with ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs, who accused him of sexual battery and “relentless abuse” during their relationship. LaBeouf has denied all the allegations, with a trial set to take place in Los Angeles on April 17, 2023.
“My failings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that has been presented,” LaBeouf wrote in the email to Wilde. “There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I am trying to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence.
“But this situation with your film and my ‘firing’ will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts. If lies are repeated enough in the public they become truth. And so, it makes it that much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I have dug with my behaviours, to be able to provide for my family.”
LaBeouf recently opened up about feeling suicidal after facing “shame like I had never experienced before” following a series of public scandals – including the abuse allegations – which led him to Catholicism.