Table of content    
  1. The Reason Why LaBeouf Leaves Transformers.
  2. He also didn’t have a good experience filming the trilogy.
  3. LaBeouf’s adventure with the franchise so far.
  4. Is Cade Yeager a better protagonist than Sam?
  5. Will Shia LaBeouf return as Sam in the future?

Why Did Shia LaBeouf Leave The Transformer Franchise? Will He Return As Sam In The Future?

Despite receiving mixed reviews from fans and critics, the Transformer franchise is arguably one of the most iconic movie sagas of the sci-fi genre in the 21st century so far. Following the everlasting battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons for the safety of the Earth and its civilization, the franchise is now on its seventh installment, with Transformers: Rise of the Beast being the latest title on the list. While the movies weren’t appreciated by the critics, the action-packed sequences and the breathtaking visuals of the gigantic automobile robots are enough to keep fans flooding the theaters.

However, if there is one thing that the audience wants to bring back to the franchise the most, it’s probably the first three films’ main protagonist, Sam Witwicky. Portrayed by the talented Shia LaBeouf, Sam has fought alongside Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and the Autobots for three movies and is a fan-favorite character, so many were shocked to see him disappear from the franchise since Transformer 4, and replaced by Mark Wahlberg. Why did LaBeouf leave the franchise? Will he return any time soon? Let’s find out through this article.


#1. The Reason Why LaBeouf Leaves Transformers.

LaBeouf’s departure from the franchise might come as a surprise to many, but in fact, right before the premiere of Transformer: Dark of the Moon in 2011, in an interview with MTV to promote the new movie, the actor already confirmed that the threequel was going to be his last appearance in the blockbuster series, despite the overflowing success in the box office back then. “I just don't think there's anywhere to take it with Sam,” LaBeouf explained.

In other words, the American performer felt that his role as Sam Witwicky in the franchise had come to an end with Dark of the Moon, and there was no need to drag his story any further. A while later, in 2018, the actor even called out the franchise’s lack of heart and human element, and described it as an “irrelevant” series with Esquire. Many believe that the downgrade in terms of scriptwriting in parts 2 and 3 is another reason why LaBeouf is leaving the franchise.


#2. He also didn’t have a good experience filming the trilogy.

While the initial Transformer trilogy was a huge success, LaBeouf simply didn’t have fun filming, as he was struggling with anxiety and insecurity at the time. As the main star of the show, the young actor was exposed to criticism and negative comments from the public, deeming him a bad performer, and was carried by the franchise’s visual and special effects. These comments affected LaBeouf a lot, making him lose confidence in himself. 

"I was 23, 24. I was a scared actor who thought he was sh*t. The world thought I was sh*t. It was sort of like, ‘Hey, he’s the Transformers kid trying to be a real actor over here.’ So I was bucking against my insecurity, I was desperate to prove myself." The actor shared. With these thoughts in mind, it’s understandable why LeBeouf denied the big bucks from the studio to star in smaller yet more complicated roles, for example James Lort in Honey Boy.


#3. LaBeouf’s adventure with the franchise so far.

Making his Transformers debut right at the start of the franchise, LaBeouf was a young but experienced actor, having portrayed the protagonist Louis Stevens in Even Stevens (1999-2003) for 3 seasons, and earned a Daytime Emmy Award for his brilliant performance. The Transformer franchise made LaBeouf’s name skyrocket, and turned him into one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors at the time. He starred in multiple potential film projects afterward, such as Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.


#4. Is Cade Yeager a better protagonist than Sam?

After LaBeouf’s departure in 2011, Paramount replaced Sam Witwicky with Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a single father who struggles to make a living while also taking care of his only daughter. While having some good moments here and there, Yeager didn’t leave much impression with his presence. He’s also quite childish, overprotective, and obnoxious at times, so many consider him a less charismatic version of Sam. 

Besides, while having his own flaws, Sam is a more relatable protagonist overall, he managed to build a very strong relationship with the Autobots, and his chemistry with Bumblebee is simply unmatched. Cade Yeager, and the new hero Noah Diaz can’t quite replicate the same feeling in their respective movies. However, as the series’ main attraction is the robots, a change in the main cast doesn’t make much of an impact, as every Transformer movie so far all turn out to be box office hits.


#5. Will Shia LaBeouf return as Sam in the future?

Source: Getty Images

With LaBeouf’s bad experience filming the trilogy and his recent criticism about the franchise, it’s hard to see the actor return to the franchise anytime in the future. Besides, with Michael Bay changing the direction of the show to the past with the new protagonist Noah, prior to when the Autobots meet Sam, Sam Witwicky simply doesn’t have a place in the Transformers Universe anymore.

However, LaBeouf also professed that he enjoyed working with Michael Bay, and would love to work with the director again, so we might see the two reunite in a future project.

Do you think Shia LaBeouf will return to the franchise? Is Sam’s story in Transformers officially over? Let us know your thoughts in the comment.

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