Shia LaBeouf will star in a biographical film titled Padre Pio.
Shia LaBeouf is one of those stories all too familiar in Hollywood. He emerged as a promising child star on Disney Channel’s Even Stevens before cementing himself as an actor on the rise with his leading role in the Transformers franchise alongside Megan Fox before legal issues hindered him from being the superstar that he was on the trajectory to become. Now, according to a recently-released trailer, Shia LaBeouf may be making a comeback with his leading role in the biopic Padre Pio.
The trailer is for the upcoming Abel Ferrara film Padre Pio, based on the life of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, an Italian Catholic priest known for his miracles and stigmata. Shia LaBeouf is set to play the lead role, and the cast will include Willem Dafoe playing the role of Saint Francis of Assisi. The movie has gotten some pushback, with some fans expressing concern that the film may not accurately portray the saint’s life and teachings, while other critics are questioning LaBeouf’s casting in the lead role due to the many controversies surrounding the actor.
Shia LaBeouf’s most recent controversy revolves around his alleged firing from Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling in 2020 due to his on-set behavior. Allegedly, the actor gave an ultimatum that Wilde either get rid of him or co-star Florence Pugh, and Wilde chose to retain the latter. LaBeouf later showed messages and emails from Wilde asking if he’d reconsider coming back to the film to corroborate that he had not been fired but instead quit.
Shia LaBeouf is also going to trial after being sued by his ex-girlfriend alternative R&B singer Tahliah Debrett Barnett (known professionally as FKA Twigs) for sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit names another abuse victim in ex-girlfriend Karolyn Pho.
Shia LaBeouf began his career as a child comedian at the age of 10 before landing starring roles in Disney Channel’s Even Stevens and the 2003 film Holes based on the book of the same name by Louis Sachar. In 2007, Shia LaBeouf had a string of successes including a starring role in the thriller Disturbia, in the animated film Surf’s Up, but it was his casting in the lead role of Michael Bay’s blockbuster 2007 film Transformers opposite Megan Fox that would cement him as a budding franchise-leading actor. His appearances in the Transformers franchise showed he could be a leading man in big-budget successes, and led to a starring role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The actor has since skirted big-budget blockbusters in favor of smaller-scale movies like Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac alongside Mia Goth, the Andrea Arnold-directed American Honey, and The Peanut Butter Falcon with Dakota Johnson, and in the self-written film Honey Boy.
Whether Shia LaBeouf will be able to deliver a performance that does justice to the character, Padre Pio is shaping up to be one of the most highly anticipated biopics of the year. If past performances are any indication, the talented yet controversial actor may have a shot at making a comeback. Shia LaBeouf’s Padre Pio premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September 2022 and will be released in the United States on June 2, 2023.