- Shia LaBeouf was originally chosen to play Oliver in “Call Me by Your Name.”
- The film’s writer James Ivory said LaBeouf gave a “sensational” audition with Timothée Chalamet.
- LaBeouf was later dropped from the project due to bad publicity.
Shia LaBeouf almost starred as Oliver, the older lover of Timothée Chalamet’s Elio, in “Call Me By Your Name,” according to the film’s writer and producer James Ivory.
Ivory – who is best known for classics such as 1987’s “Maurice” – said that LaBeouf was initially contacted to play Oliver opposite Chalamet in a new extract of his memoir “Solid Ivory” published in GQ magazine. However, Ivory wrote that he was skeptical about LaBeouf’s casting because he couldn’t see the 35-year-old playing “an academic writing about the Greek philosopher Heraclitus.”
“Shia came to read for us in New York with Timothée Chalamet, paying for his own plane ticket, and Luca and I had been blown away,” Ivory wrote. “The reading by the two young actors had been sensational; they made a very convincing hot couple.”
Ivory continued to write that Shia was later “dropped” from the film due to bad publicity.
“He’d fought with his girlfriend; he’d fended off the police somewhere when they had tried to calm him down,” Ivory wrote. “Luca would not call him, or his agent. I emailed Shia to offer reassurance, but then Luca cast Armie Hammer and never spoke to, or of, Shia again.”
The role of Oliver was, of course, taken up by Armie Hammer.
Later during the extract published in GQ, Ivory said that he had initially planned to co-direct the film alongside Luca Guadagnino, but he was “dropped” from the project as production began.
“The last time I saw Luca was before [filming] began, in New York, when I still believed I was co-directing with him; we joked about what might happen if we got into an argument on set, and laughed about it,” Ivory wrote. “I made plans to go to Crema after the Cannes Film Festival in May, where the restored ‘Howards End’ was to be shown. And then I was dropped.”
Ivory continued: “I was never told why I had been dropped, by Luca or anybody else: it was presented in an ‘it has been decided that…’ sort of way.”
“Solid Ivory,” by James Ivory and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux is out November 2.