After Turning Heads While Jogging, Shia LaBouef Wants to Play LGBTQ Character in New Marvel Film

Wednesday August 12, 2020

Shia LaBeouf in a publicity pic for "The Tax Collector"
Shia LaBeouf in a publicity pic for "The Tax Collector"  (Source:IMDB)

Was Shia LaBouef too concerned about the controversy around his new film "The Tax Collector" (along with the bad reviews) that he forgot to put on his underwear when he went jogging on Monday in Hollywood? (See the pic here.)

Or was he thinking about his lobbying for the role of Iceman, one of the Marvel's first openly LGBTQ characters, in a new film? Maybe he heard he has competition for the role from out actor Colton Haynes, who on Tuesday tweeted a gif of the Iceman (a.k.a. Bobby Drake) in action, cannily letting it be known that he's interested in the role.

"On Colton Haynes' post, there's a GIF of Ashmore's appearance in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past's Rogue Cut,' with Iceman in his full ice form and building a wall to block incoming Sentinels," reports Cinema Blend.

Haynes is no stranger to the super hero universe, having played Roy Harper/ Arsenal in 8 seasons and 80 episodes of "Arrow." And his casting would be a good fit for Marvel, that is "committed to making the shared universe" as they move to the next phase of the superhero films, called Phase Four. It "will continue to make strides in this regard, with 'The Eternals' featuring a diverse cast, LGBT characters, and a hearing impaired superhero. Given Iceman's historic plot line in the comics, now would be a great time for Bobby Drake to appear."

Will Marvel go for the out Haynes or straight LaBouef? Some on Twitter are already having their say.

After the snafu over "The Tax Collector," (one of the poorest reviewed movies of the year with a 20% critics' approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), you might think LaBoeuf would steer clear of a role that requires him to assume the identity of a gay man when he's not.

The controversy began in July when some on social media took exception with the actor playing a Mexican and accused him of "brownfacing." "In the film, directed by David Ayer, "LaBeouf looks Mexican, at least by stereotypical standards," writes the Los Angeles Times in an interview with Ayer (note: interview sites behind a firewall). "He wears a goatee and sounds like a Latino guy from the 'hood. At one point he says, 'Come on, foo'!, certified barrio slang for fool. LaBeouf, the sometimes troublemaking Hollywood star who won wide praise for last year's autobiographical drama 'Honey Boy,' appears to have taken on the persona of the L.A. cholo."

Ayer addressed the complaints on social media in July, the Daily Mail reports.

Ayer initially hit back at allegations of brownface on Twitter on July 1, where he again insisted LaBeouf was playing a white man in the film. "Really important answer — Shia is playing a white boy who grew up in the hood. This is a Jewish dude playing a white character. Also the only white dude in the movie."

He doubled-down with this thought to the Los Angeles Times last week.

"He's a white guy playing a white guy. He's not taking anyone's work away," the director told the publication.

Despite its bad reviews, "The Tax Collector" grossed $317,000 while screening at 129 theaters in the US, according to Variety. That's compared to runner-up The Rental, which brought in $123,744 from 187 screens.

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