Shia Leboeuf is smart and talented, all right, but he’s a little too exotic to be the next Tom Hanks, despite notions to the contrary on the latest Vanity Fair cover. Unless Leboeuf gets really lucky with a perfect role in the right film (and I’m not predicting this won’t happen), five years from now he’ll be the new Bill Pullman.

The 21 year-old actor is mainly getting the Big Attention because he’s Harrison Ford‘s son in the fourth Indy film, but three weeks after this film opens next year people will be saying “that’s it?” and asking what’s next. At the very least I think it’s fair to ask for a small punishment to be meted out to Leboeuf for playing the pseudo lead role in Transformers. I honestly believe that right now his stock is a tad lower than it was in the wake of Disturbia‘s surprise success earlier this year.
And to this very minute I’m still undecided about how to pronounce his name. I think the “i” in Shia is pronounced like “eye”, and the last name is Leboaf as in “loaf of bread.” Quick — bring up a blank e-mail screen and try to spell the last name. Oh-ee-you, oh-ee-you, oh-ee-you.