At some point over the past few months, Shia LaBeouf’s aggressively weird behavior got so consistently weird that it stopped surprising us. Whether threatening to retire from public life or releasing bizarre manifestos on willful plagiarism, his oddities somehow became par for the course. Eccentric, unexplainable shit became his M.O., which is why I’m now so shocked to report the following story that’s pretty much as conventional as it gets.
The ex-Transformers star has quietly signed on to star in director Barry Levinson’s next movie Rock The Kasbah. He's not gonna spend his time saving prairie dogs or making pine needle art or become a gender studies major at NYU. He's going to quietly go back to doing the very thing we all want to see him do. How rational.
Described as an indie comedy, the film was written by Mitch Glazer, the man behind the underrated Magic City. It will star comedy legend Bill Murray in the lead and boast such talents as Danny McBride, Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel and Kate Hudson in key supports. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it will start officially shooting in June with Brian Grazer and Tom Freston producing.
The basic premise of the film follows Murray as a magician’s manager well past his prime. He heads to Afghanistan in order to bring one of his clients to a USO appearance, but thanks to a bizarre set of circumstances, he winds up broke and stuck. Without a ton of options, he takes a job managing an undiscovered singer and enters her into a popular national singing competition.
Exactly what role LaBeouf might play is unclear. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about him as an actor, however, is that he is able to play both the familiar, comfortable character the audience is mean to sympathize with or the weirdo who swoops in and stirs up the plot. No doubt Levinson has something very specific for him in mind. Fingers crossed it’s really, really weird.
So, what’s to be made of LaBeouf threatening to retire from "public life" on week and then taking another acting role the next? Well, there are several possibilities. Maybe he considers public life to be interviews, publicity appearances and magazine interviews. Maybe he got a look at his life without acting and realized it was a little too full of headbutt fights. Or maybe he just changed his mind. People are allowed to do that. Remember Brett Favre? He spent like a half decade waffling back and forth between doing absolutely nothing and playing high level football. Besides, I think we can all agree LaBeouf is far too young and far too talented to spend the rest of his life hitting up dive bars and rambling like a drunk English major.
Whether you like LaBeouf or not, it’s pretty hard not to see the potential in Rock The Kasbah. Here’s to hoping it winds up maximizing its potential and reminds all of us that LaBeouf is more than just a weirdo.