The actor, who was scheduled to make his Broadway debut in a revival of the play Orphans alongside Alec Baldwin, has dropped out due to "creative differences" producers say in a statement released to the Associated Press.
A source confirms the actor's departure, telling PEOPLE, "He was really into it, but at the end of the day he and the director had very different visions of what his character was like. And, unfortunately, they couldn't resolve those differences."
Another source close to the play echoes that the reason for LaBeouf's withdrawal "amounted to creative differences with the director and Shia."
The New York Times reports that producers decided to replace LaBeouf on Tuesday night, a week after rehearsals began, after the show's director, Daniel Sullivan, became concerned about "performance choices" the actor made in the role. Sullivan reportedly spoke to LaBeouf about his concerns, but things did not improve.
But he hasn't exactly gone quietly.
Several hours after news broke he was leaving Orphans, LaBeouf shared a series of apologetic emails via his official Twitter feed. On Wednesday he Tweeted, "Creative differences," alongside an excerpt of an apparent email he purportedly sent to the creative team and his costars.
creative differences twitter.com/thecampaignboo…— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) February 20, 2013
In the lengthy email in which he appears to be apologizing to Baldwin, LaBeouf writes, "A man does not know everything. He doesn't try. He likes what other men know. ... Alec, I'm sorry for my part of a dis-agreeable situation."
The Tweet and email exchange also includes a reply, purportedly from the play's director Daniel Sullivan, who writes, "I'm too old for disagreeable situations. ... Alec is who he is. You are who you are. You two are incompatible. I should have known it."
A representative for Orphans confirmed the legitimacy of the emails to The Times. LaBeouf's rep has not responded to PEOPLE's request for comment, and when reached by PEOPLE, Baldwin's rep had no comment.
Later, in another email posted to Twitter, Baldwin and LaBeouf share mutual praise.
"I don't have an unkind word to say about you," a man who signs his name AB, and is purported to be Alec Baldwin, writes in the email that LaBeouf posted. "You have my word."
In reply, LaBeouf writes, "Same. Be well. Good luck on the play. You'll be great," and then signs the email "Shia."
"acting has become a profession of the genteel class" - David Mamet twitter.com/thecampaignboo…— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) February 20, 2013
Creative Differences and an Another ApologyYet even earlier, on Feb. 18 LaBeouf hinted at creative tensions in rehearsal via Twitter, writing, "Put my hand thru the door at rehearsals. then apologized to our playwright- this was his response." Again, LaBeouf attached an apparent email exchange between him and the playwright, Lyle Kessler, with his Tweet.
put my hand thru the door at rehearsals. then apologized to our playwright-this was his response. lesson?PACE. twitter.com/thecampaignboo…— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) February 18, 2013
According to a Playbill.com report, producers will announce LaBeouf's replacement shortly. The play is about two orphaned brothers who decide to kidnap a rich man. Baldwin plays the wealthy target in Lyle Kessler's play, which premiered in 1983, and LaBeouf was to play one of the kidnappers along with British actor Tom Sturridge.
Orphans is scheduled to begin previews on March 19 with an official opening April 7 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York.
Reporting by CHARLOTTE TRIGGS