Not too long ago, Shia LaBeouf was a budding young star. Before long, he was everywhere we looked, and this didn’t sit so well with a lot of movie fans. Mixed into this LaBeouf overdose was both Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — both of which made ridiculous amounts of money, and both of which were eviscerated by critics and fans everywhere.
Just a few days ago, LaBeouf offered up apologies to fans for how the second Transformers movie went, and promised much better things in the third one. The actor, who’s currently at the Cannes Film Festival to promote his movie, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, is clearly out to do some damage control on his career (by his own free will or by the urging of his representatives, who knows). Now, LaBeouf has offered apologies and explanations for the fourth and latest Indiana Jones while talking to the LA Times, for which he takes full responsibility.
LaBeouf started by talking about what happened on Indy 4 and how he couldn’t let that happen again with the Wall Street sequel by saying “I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished. If I was going to do it twice, my career was over. So this was fight-or-flight for me.”
He then went deeper into Indiana Jones and where he thinks it went wrong:
You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven [Spielberg, who directed]. But the actor’s job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn’t do it. So that’s my fault. Simple.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, though almost universally disliked, still made almost $800 million, so when asked why he doesn’t just leave it as it is instead of trying to make everyone happy with explanation, Shia said:
I think the audience is pretty intelligent. I think they know when you’ve made [a bad movie]. And I think if you don’t acknowledge it, then why do they trust you the next time you’re promoting a movie. We [Harrison Ford and LaBeouf] had major discussions. He wasn’t happy with it either. Look, the movie could have been updated. There was a reason it wasn’t universally accepted.
We need to be able to satiate the appetite. I think we just misinterpreted what we were trying to satiate.
LaBeouf went on to talk about legendary film maker Steven Spielberg and how he’d react to the young actor speaking of the movie so negatively:
I’ll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this. I love him. I love Steven. I have a relationship with Steven that supersedes our business work. And believe me, I talk to him often enough to know that I’m not out of line. And I would never disrespect the man. I think he’s a genius, and he’s given me my whole life. He’s done so much great work that there’s no need for him to feel vulnerable about one film. But when you drop the ball you drop the ball.
Does Shia LaBeouf mean all of this, or is he simply covering his tracks to regain some positive light in the public eye? I have no idea, but I do like the brutal honestly going on here and with the Transformers 2 quotes. It’s unlikely that these words have the power to change anything at all, but I can’t help but hope that Transformers 3 will be better and that if they ever do actually make another Indiana Jones, that this time it will be for the fans and not the money. The only problem there is that LaBeouf wasn’t the reason it sucked, it was the disgusting over-usage of CGI instead of putting the effort into building things like they had with previous movies.
How do you take LaBeouf’s words; any hope that they may spark an old fire in Steven Spielberg?