Shia LaBeouf announced that he was finished with the public light on January 10, 2014. After nearly three weeks, Shia LaBeouf has put an end to his retirement. The Transformers star has been cast in Barry Levinson’s new indie comedy Rock the Kasbah. Levinson’s last film was the found-footage horror The Bay, released in 2010.
Rock the Kasbah is about a broken-down and washed-up rock manager named Richie Vance. While on a USO tour with his final client, Richie discovers a beautiful young girl with an unbelievable singing voice in the heart of Afghanistan. Richie decides to manage the girl through Afghanistan’s incredibly popular version of American Idol titled Afghan Star.
Levinson has been able to attract several big names to the cast list aside from Shia LaBeouf. Bill Murray is rumored to play the lead role of Richie Vance, with Bruce Willis and Kate Hudson to play parts in the ensemble comedy. Danny McBride and his Your Highness c0-star Zooey Deschanel have also been tapped to appear. Rock the Kasbah was written by Mitch Glazer and will be produced by QED International, Venture Forth and Shangri-La Entertainment. Levinson made public that he could not be more pleased with the talented group of comedic actors gathered for the wickedly funny and heartfelt film. Shia LaBeouf will step back on set for the first time since the end of his three-week retirement when Rock the Kasbah shoots this June.
For Shia LaBeouf, the last few months of his career have been a whirlwind of media scrutiny. Back in December, Shia was accused of plagiarizing the story and pieces of dialogue for his 2013 short film HowardCantour.com. LaBeouf was then sued by Daniel Clowes, the writer and artist of the original graphic novel entitled Justin M. Damiano. The Even Stevens star lost the plagiarism case against Clowes. Shia was also accused of plagiarizing passages from author Charles Bukowski’s Assault for his 2012 comic Let’s F**king Party and stealing from French novelist Benoit Duteurtre’s The Little Girl and the Cigarette for his short graphic novel Stale N Mate. LaBeouf posted a public apology following the accusations that appeared to be lifted entirely from a 2010 post on Yahoo Answers. Once accused of plagiarizing his apology, Shia then tweeted pieces of the famous public apology by Tiger Woods as well as a passage from the preface to former defense secretary Robert McNamara’s book on the Vietnam War. LaBeouf then went as far as spending $25,000 to skywrite “I Am Sorry, Daniel Clowes” above the L.A. sky. In early January, Shia announced that it had all been a part of a giant performance art piece. The actor stated that he wanted to raise discussions about the immutability of art and imitation. LaBeouf announced the new Twitter handle @thecampaignbook and said it will be a meta-modernist performance art piece. Shia concluded by tweeting that a performative redress is all a public apology really is. Following the announcement of his retirement a few days later, the only thing the actor has tweeted from his personal account has been: “I Am Not Famous Anymore,” which he has done well over a dozen times to date.
There has been no release date set yet for Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah, though it is likely to grace the big screens sometime in 2015. As for Shia LaBeouf, the casting announcement ends a three-week retirement for the actor after a string of increasingly bizarre events that dominated his life over the past couple months.
By Benjamin Murray