The hype during the lead-up to Suicide Squad's release was intense, and it was helped along by the crazy anecdotes that kept emerging about the making of the film. For example, Jared Leto's method approach to the Joker included sending his co-stars dead animals and sex toys, and director David Ayer made the cast members fight one another as part of a bonding exercise during rehearsals.
It's not the first time that reports of intense preparation for roles have emerged from an Ayer production. During the making of his World War 2 tank drama Fury, actor Shia LaBeouf took extreme measures to create veracity for his character - an approach that included refusing to wash, having one of his teeth pulled, and cutting his face to make sure his injuries looked authentic.
Now, LaBeouf has revealed that he came close to bringing his unique acting techniques to Suicide Squad, telling Variety that Ayer approached him for a role in 2014. The role in question, that of Rick Flag's (Joel Kinnaman) right-hand man GQ, was eventually played by Scott Eastwood, and according to LaBeouf was originally a bit more substantial:
"The character was different initially... Then Will [Smith] came in, and the script changed a bit. That character and Tom [Hardy’s] character [later played by Joel Kinnaman] got written down to build Will up."
LaBeouf also indicated that the reason he didn't get the role was because Warner Bros. thought he was too "crazy," and didn't want to take the risk of casting him in such a big project:
"I don’t think Warner Bros. wanted me. I went in to meet, and they were like, ‘Nah, you’re crazy. You’re a good actor, but not this one.’ It was a big investment for them."
Obviously it seems rather ironic now to hear that LaBeouf was considered too "crazy" for Suicide Squad, given all the things that Leto and the other cast members got up to. Cara Delevingne, for example, wandered naked through a moonlit forest to find inspiration for her character, The Enchantress, and Jai Courtney (who played Captain Boomerang) at one point took magic mushrooms and put out cigarettes on his arms. Ultimately the "crazy" aspects of the production and its characters became part of the marketing.
Still, GQ did end up only playing a rather small role in the movie, so perhaps it's for the best that LaBeouf wasn't cast in the end. After all, this leaves open the possibility of him playing a different DC Extended Universe role in the future.
Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters. Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman solo movie, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.