David Ayer seems to have pulled off another Jared Leto-style Joker transformation with Shia LaBeouf for The Tax Collector. The director posted the very first picture of Shia LaBeouf from the film, and he's covered in a bunch of tattoos. The young actor can be seen sitting down, wearing only shorts, chains, and sunglasses while smoking a cigarette. The image is pretty striking, making LaBeouf look like a man that you don't want to cross paths with.
The new David Ayer film The Tax Collector was announced back at the end of June and remains to be a bit mysterious. The project is a crime thriller written, produced and directed by Ayer. In addition to Shia LaBeouf, the movie also stars Bobby Soto, Chelsea Rendon, Cinthya Carmona, Lana Parrilla, Gabriela Flores, and George Lopez. However, it is not clear what any of their roles are at this point in time. It's not even clear if The Tax Collector has actually started filming yet, though it was announced that filming would take place this summer in and around the Los Angeles area.
The new shot of Shia LaBeouf from The Tax Collector shows off the many tattoos, but only a few are easy to make out. The biggest one says "Creeper" across the actor's stomach, along with a highway sign that says, "Route 071," which has led many to believe that Ayer is going back to a gritty approach like he did with Training Day and End of Watch. The highway sign tattoo could be a tie to the US Highway 71 that runs North and South for over 1,500 miles, but that is not clear at this time.
Shia LaBeouf and David Ayer previously worked together on Fury and the director wanted him to star in Suicide Squad, but the studio was not interested in the idea, according the actor. He claims that Warner Bros. believes that he's a good actor, but just a little too crazy. LaBeouf also admits that the movie changed quite a bit when Will Smith was brought on board. LaBeouf's most recent roles in American Honey and Borg vs McEnroe have been heavily praised by critics, which could see a major comeback for the actor after years of strange and drunken behavior.
Shia LaBeouf is now sober after getting in the headlines for public intoxication and arrests that involved racial slurs. It appeared that he was on his way down a dangerous path, but now it seems that things are looking up. There's still a lot about Tax Collector that is not clear, but the mystery is making it even more intriguing, especially after our first look at LaBeouf looking like some kind of thug. While we wait for more information on The Tax Collector, you can check out the awesome picture of LaBeouf below, thanks to David Ayer's Twitter account.