Together at last? They certainly need each other, because recently both the careers of Robert Redford and Shia LaBeouf have been waining in terms of quality. While LaBeouf is a pretty much the most bankable star in Hollywood due to his box office receipts, he’s hardly been a hit with critics. His financial success largely comes off the back of riding the franchise wave, which truly sell the movies rather than his name being printed across the poster. Robert Redford on the other hand is now in his comfortable directing position and hasn’t produced something outstanding since Quiz Show, which came out 17 years ago.
LaBeouf said recently that he wants to move away from tentpoles and focus on serious acting. In an effort to change his ways, he has attached himself to The Company You Keep, a political thriller which sees a young journalist uncovering the identity of a former Underground militant wanted by the special forces.
LaBeouf will play the journalist, while Redford will play the hunted militant. The script comes from Lem Dobbs who has previously written effective thrillers for Steven Soderbergh such as The Limey and the upcoming Haywire as well as the sci-fi hit Dark City. It is based on a novel of the same name by David Gordon. The premise is interesting and Redford has proven in the past to be a solid filmmaker and a very good actor.
The only part I need to be sold on is Shia LaBeouf himself. The problem he has as an actor is that he is just very plain. He has a rather non-existent screen presence and he has no charisma. This is something that has always been a problem for him too, as he is usually pitted against very charismatic actors. With Indiana Jones he was against Harrison Ford, in Wall Street Money Never Sleeps he shared all his scenes with either Michael Douglas, Josh Brolin or Carey Mulligan.
Here, he will really have to pull out the stops to play against Redford and prove that he can command the screen. Hopefully we will see some glimmer of this talent in the upcoming drama The Wettest County in the World.
The Company You Keep is currently in pre-production and will begin shooting in Vancouver this September.