There’s very little news coming out of Hollywood recently with everything on pause due to COVID. We’ve seen some of the most anticipated movies get delayed into limbo. Films like Tenet, No Time to Die, A Quiet Place 2, Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow are currently without plans for a release date. The movie business is in a black hole at this point. We just simply have to wait and be patient when it comes to new material. However, there is a glimmer of hope with David Ayer’s new movie The Tax Collector coming to streaming services on August 7th.

The Tax Collector, starring Bobby Soto, George Lopez, and Shia Labeouf, is a gang thriller that follows two tax collectors for a crime lord whose business becomes upended, resulting in one of the tax collectors desperately protecting his family from an old rival. David Ayer returns to his gritty, indie, street gang roots after a couple of big budget abominations with Suicide Squad and Bright. Ayer expressed his excitement for returning to a blood-driven crime drama that kickstarting his career by the making of movies like Street Kings, Harsh Times, and End of Watch. Ayer struck gold in 2014 with his war drama film, Fury, which ended up grossing $211 million worldwide. The Tax Collector will be David Ayer and Shia Labeouf’s second collaboration since Fury. Ayer had some strong words of encouragement when talking about working with Shia. The director claims that he’s “one of the best actors I’ve worked with, and he’s the most committed to body and soul.”

Committed is certainly the right word to use for Labeouf, the 34 year-old actor, considering the appearance of his role in The Tax Collector. Shia is covered from head to toe in grimy tattoos. The crazy part is none of the tattoos are effects or CGI. Labeouf got real tattoos for his character as “Creeper,” in the upcoming film. It seems like he is taking method acting to a whole different level. Jared Leto is somewhere punching the air right now.

Shia Labeouf is coming off a scorching hot 2019 year with movies like Honey Boy and The Peanut Butter Falcon. He was able to generate buzz around both those performances and once again he’s getting fans hyped for The Tax Collector. Shia’s talent has always had potential, but in 2019 he showed his ability to extend his emotional range. Despite not landing the leading role in The Tax Collector, the film is certainly making him the face of promotion. He gets the most screen time in the newest trailer and his tattoo stunt has him as the talk of the town. Although his stock is rising upward, he was a target of slight controversy when the trailer was released. Some people have accused the director and actor of committing “brownface” for playing a gang member amidst an all Latino cast. David Ayer was quick to jump in and assure fans that Shia is playing a white character that grew up in the hood around a Latino environment. Labeouf is confirmed to be the only white character in the movie. Ayer has a pretty good reputation when it comes to casting a diverse set of actors. Films like End of Watch, Training Day and Bright features well-rounded and diverse actors. He even presented the first Latino superhero (or supervillain) for a DCEU comic movie in Suicide Squad. It’s fantastic to see David Ayer return to what he does best in making hardcore, realistic, gritty, gang thrillers. With not much on the horizon in the film world, we’ll see if The Tax Collector can get Ayer back on the map after colossal failures such as Suicide Squad and Bright. Check out the trailer for The Tax Collector below.

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