In hindsight, it's abundantly clear that Suicide Squad went though an intense evolution between its development and its release. From rumors that never materialized, to the abundance of scenes clearly cut from the theatrical version of the film, David Ayer's DCEU adventure is chock full of hypotheticals that never quite came to life. Now it seems that even the cast of Suicide Squad was almost entirely different, as Shia LaBeouf almost took on the part of Lt. GQ Edwards. I know; let that sink in. LaBeouf elaborated:
The character was different initially. Then Will [Smith] came in, and the script changed a bit. That character and Tom [Hardy's] character [later played by Joel Kinnaman] got written down to build Will up. I don't think Warner Bros. wanted me. 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.
Shia LaBeouf recently spoke to Variety about his upcoming film, American Honey, and revealed that director David Ayer initially approached him for the role of GQ Edwards in Suicide Squad during the early stages of the film's development -- back when Tom Hardy was still attached for the role of Rick Flag. Eventually, after the script had gone through a number of changes, Warner Bros. decided that they didn't want to take a risk on LaBeouf with one of their tent pole movies. Once he was dropped from the project, Scott Eastwood came in to fill the part. It doesn't seem like there's any hard feelings though, as LaBeouf appears to completely understand their concerns about his potential behavior.
It's odd that so much effort went into the creation of a character that ultimately had very little impact on Suicide Squad's overall narrative. Fans speculated for well over a year that GQ Edwards might actually be some hidden DC cameo like Dick Grayson, Oliver Queen, or Jason Todd, but in the end he simply turned out to be little more than Rick Flag's right hand man. Even his death (although explosive) seemed rather uneventful. It has us wondering if the filmmakers initially had far more in store for the character before rewrites, reshoots, and edits took their toll.
That being said, it makes sense that David Ayer would approach Shia LaBeouf for a role in Suicide Squad. Although the 30-year-old actor has had a few rough years in Hollywood, his recent work with Ayer on 2014's Fury proved incredibly compelling, and in many ways signaled a comeback that has slowly but surely begun to take shape. Ayer clearly has a knack for getting strong performances out of the talented (if somewhat unpredictable) LaBeouf, so we're left wondering what his version of GQ Edwards could have looked like. Scott Eastwood was just fine as GQ, but LaBeouf would've brought something gloriously absurd to the role.
Would you have liked to see Shia LaBeouf in Suicide Squad instead of Scott Eastwood? Does he belong in ANY superhero franchise? Let us know what you think in the comments section below, and make sure to catch Suicide Squad in theaters while you still can.