Shia LaBeouf Almost Starred in Call Me By Your Name With Timothée Chalamet

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Timothée Chalamet almost called Oliver by a different name.

Screenwriter and producer James Ivory reveals in his new memoir, Solid Ivory, that the role of Oliver was nearly given to actor Shia LaBeouf instead of Armie Hammer

In an excerpt published by GQ, Ivory recalls meeting with LaBeouf in New York City, where the Even Stevens actor did a reading with Timothée, who played Elio, Oliver’s lover.

Luca [Guadagnino] and I had been blown away,” Ivory writes. “The reading by the two young actors had been sensational; they made a very convincing hot couple.”

However, Ivory claims that LaBeouf was “dropped” from contention after a run of “bad publicity.”

The screenwriter, who was originally supposed to direct the film, went on to say, “Luca cast Armie Hammer and never spoke to, or of, Shia again.”

Prior to considering LaBeouf, Ivory was “doubtful” the Transformers star could do Andre Aciman‘s character justice. As he put it, “He’s an extremely good actor. But as an academic writing about the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, he would be a stretch.”

Guadagnino previously spoke about his decision to cast Hammer in the role of Oliver in a 2017 interview with Vulture. According to the director, Ivory’s vision for the movie never came to fruition because of “rules of the market,” blaming “ageism” for the studio’s decision to greenlight Call Me By Your Name with Guadagnino as the director.

So, it appears Guadagnino got the final say on casting and went with Hammer, who he had a “sudden and immediate attraction to.” He told Vulture, “James and Shia would have been another movie, and every avenue was tried, but the only way it could see the light was if I directed it for five weeks with no money.”

Guadagnino acknowledged that other filmmakers were weary of casting the then up and coming actor, but he saw untapped potential in Hammer. 

While Ivory seemingly disagrees with Guadagnino’s directing and said he is upset he didn’t have a greater say in production, he acknowledges in Solid Ivory that his contributions were recognized by the Academy. In 2018, Ivory took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards. 

E! News reached out to reps for Ivory, Guadagnino and LaBeouf for comment but didn’t hear back.

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