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Shia LaBeouf and Jesse Eisenberg Nearly Starred in 'War Dogs'

Shia LaBeouf nearly starred in War Dogs alongside Jesse Eisenberg.

On Friday, War Dogs hit theaters featuring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill. And while the reviews for the movie are somewhat mixed one of the biggest compliments for the movie is Jonah Hill and Miles Teller's acting chops. But, originally, Shia LaBeouf was going out for Jonah Hill's role. Originally titled Arms and Dudes, Jonah Hill and Miles Teller were not the first choice for the movie's cast. In fact, Jonah Hill originally turned down the lead role. The movie was written with The Wolf of Wall Street actor in mind, so after Eisenberg and LaBeouf left the project, it all ended up working out, according to movie's director Todd Phillips:
Just to speak to that first part, [Jesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf> were attached for a moment, and then we ended up pushing the movie an entire year and both guys became unavailable. And to speak to that further, and they both know this, we wrote the script for Jonah. When I first went to Jonah, before we pushed the movie, Jonah actually turned it down. I then cast it with [Eisenberg and LaBeouf], then we pushed the movie a year for production reasons and that’s when they became unavailable.
Two months before shooting, Teller was not a sure thing for the movie either. He had a scheduling conflict. But, the day after the Academy Awards, he flew to Romania to start filming War Dogs.  But, another actor auditioned for Miles Teller's role, comedian James Corden. When Phillips and War Dogs co-star appeared as guests on his show, the host showed a clip from his audition with Shia LaBeouf and told a brief story about the experience:
"So I’m all due to read, I’m in New York, I’m learning lines all night, and then I get this message, ‘I don’t know if it’s gonna happen tomorrow, Shia LaBeouf’s in jail.’"
Shia LaBeouf was arrested for disrupting a Broadway performance of Cabaret. During the audition, for some reason, Shia LaBeouf thought it necessary to wear shoelaces on his face. Recalling this acting decision, Phillips said:
They take your shoelaces away in prison because they’re afraid you’re going to kill yourself, I suppose. So he was carrying his shoelaces, and for some reason he put them on his face because he was being weird and wanted to throw you off a little bit.
James Corden actually enjoyed the experience. As for Eisenberg and Shia Labeouf, they would be easy to imagine in the action thriller War Dogs because they obviously bring something unique to the movie. But, in the end Todd Phillips got the actors he always wanted. We will have to wait and see if audiences approve of this casting decision as well. War Dogs hits theaters on August 19th. Check out how Jonah Hill prepared for his role in War Dogs in our video below: Related: What do you think? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.