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Ben Foster to replace Shia LaBeouf in ‘Orphans’

Actor will star opposite Alec Baldwin in the Broadway play

Ben Foster has been tapped to replace Shia LaBeouf in “Orphans,” the Broadway play in which Foster will now star opposite Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge.

Show will mark the Rialto debut for the actor, whose upcoming film projects include two recent Sundance alums, IFC’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and Sony Pictures Classics’ “Kill Your Darlings,” as well as Universal’s fall release of Peter Berg’s Mark Wahlberg starrer “Lone Survivor.” Foster’s feature credits also include “The Messenger,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “X-Men 3: That Last Stand,”

In Lyle Kessler’s 1982 play he’ll portray Treat, the unstable young man who kidnaps a rich gangster (Baldwin) and holds him hostage in the rundown house he shares with his younger brother (Sturridge).

The clock was ticking for the production after the abrupt exit of LaBeouf from “Orphans” late Tuesday, a departure officially attributed to “creative differences.” Show had already been in rehearsal for more than a week, with the first preview perf set for March 19. Foster had previously auditioned for the part he’ll now end up playing.

LaBeouf’s split with the production yielded a swirl of gossip-mill rumors about the actor’s behind-the-scenes volatility, with the email trail of the fallout posted on LaBeouf’s Twitter account.

For the moment, production dates for “Orphans” remain unchanged, with an opening set for April 7 at the Schoenfeld Theater.

Daniel Sullivan — helmer of another of this season’s star-driven revivals, “Glengarry Glen Ross” led by Al Pacino — directs the show. Producers Frederick Zollo (“Once”) and Robert Cole also have a track record with play revivals toplined by big-name thesps, including the 2009 blockbuster “A Steady Rain” starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig.

Contact Gordon Cox at gordon.cox@variety.com

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