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Reason Shia LaBeouf didn't reprise role of Sam Witwicky for Transformers 4

Reason Shia LaBeouf didn't reprise role of Sam Witwicky for Transformers 4

The actor left the Transformers franchise at its height

The Transformers movies were a part of many people’s introduction to the Transformers universe, long after the cartoon existed - and that was thanks to one actor.

At just 20 years old Shia LaBeouf took the reins of protagonist Sam Witwicky, a young man who gets caught in the crossfire of war between the Autobots and the Decepticons.

From some seriously cool action scenes to explosives being used seemingly in almost every fight sequence, the Transformers films were something that the whole family could watch together and enjoy.

But why did the main man leave and why didn't he come back to reprise the beloved role?

Playing Witwicky in the first three instalments, LaBeouf was very obviously missing from the fourth instalment in the franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and instead, we saw Mark Wahlberg take over the leading role.

Shia LaBeouf played the role of Sam Witwicky in the first three Transformer movies.
Paramount Pictures

The character of Witwicky was assumed to have died off-screen between the fourth and fifth instalment, and the audience was left with some obvious questions.

It turns out that the reason LaBeouf left was because he believed Witwicky’s story was over.

In 2011, he confirmed this to MTV while promoting the third film, Transformers: Dark of The Moon, and said: "I just don't think there's anywhere to take it with Sam."

During an interview with Esquire in 2018, the actor also said that the films were 'irrelevant' in comparison to other work.

It turns out that the reason Shia LaBeouf left was because he believed Sam Witwicky’s story was over.
Paramount Pictures

He explained: “My hang up with those films was that they felt irrelevant. They felt dated as f***… You come up on these stories about Easy Rider and Raging Bull and De Niro and Scorsese and Hopper, and you find value in what they do.

"Meanwhile, you’re chasing energon crystals. It’s very hard to keep doing what you’re doing when you feel like it’s the antithesis of your purpose on this planet.”

Though, that’s not what the box office thought when Transformers 4 became highest-grossing film in the franchise with Wahlberg's character, Cade Yeager, taking the lead.

LaBeouf also went on to speak about the heart of the franchise, saying that it was missing due to the lack of human element.

Perhaps this was due to the over-the-top CGI and action packed scenes which focused mainly on killing bad guys and getting the girl.

Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf in Transformers.
Paramount Pictures

Or it could be that Witwicky’s character took a downward turn anytime he was presented with a love interest, often becoming cocky, neglectful or downright disrespectful to Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) when he very nearly cheated with a robot-college student hybrid in the second film.

But maybe he was on to something with regards to the human element as the production of the eighth movie in the franchise,Transformers One, will consist entirely of voice-actors and will be set on Cybertron, so there’s not likely to be any humans around in spacesuits anytime soon.

Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Topics: Shia LaBeouf, Film and TV, Entertainment, Celebrity