A few years ago, Shia LaBeouf went through a phase where he seemed to apologize for everything he did. First came Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (“I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished”), then came Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (“When I saw the second movie, I wasn’t impressed with what we did”), and then came Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (“But for a movie like Wall Street that had so much bite the first time around to come out without fangs and preach a message of hope wasn’t what people were looking for.”)
Perhaps sensing that he wouldn’t have to apologize so much if he stopped accepting roles opposite CGI monkeys and robots, LaBeouf entered the “Maybe if I star in a few indie movies, people will take me seriously again” phase of his career. This year, he has two indie movies coming out: Lawless, a violent Prohibition era drama from the director of The Proposition, and The Company You Keep, a political thriller from Robert Redford. A third indie movie, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, is scheduled for 2013.
If LaBeouf ends up joining the cast of Lars von Trier’s The Nymphomaniac—which according to The Hollywood Reporter, is a distinct possibility—his effort to gain back his street cred should be complete.
Here’s what we know about The Nymphomaniac so far: 1) It’s a four hour long, two part erotic drama that chronicles a woman’s sexual adventures between the ages of zero to fifty, 2) It will be released in both “hardcore” and “softcore” versions, and 3) It will star Von Trier alums Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, and Nicole Kidman.
Whether The Nymphomaniac will be another Von Trier masterpiece or a Brown Bunny-style embarrassment remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: If LaBeouf takes the part, the monkey scene from Crystal Skull will no longer be the strangest thing on his resume.