Actor Shia LaBeouf is bringing his own experiences to the big screen in the upcoming film, Honey Boy, and Amazon Studios has released the trailer. Written by the actor himself, the film presents a fictionalized version of Labeouf’s experiences as a young actor with a stormy childhood and rocky early adult years. It explores his struggle to reconcile with his father, deal with his mental health, his quick ascent to stardom and “subsequent crash-landing into rehab and recovery”.
Directed by Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach, LoveTrue), Honey Boy gives us a version of the early life of Shia LaBeouf through the character of Otis Lort. Played by Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) in his younger years and Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased, Manchester by the Sea) in his early adulthood, Otis has to navigate the different stages of his career and the pressure and pain it causes. Dancer-singer FKA twigs makes her feature-film debut as a “neighbor and kindred spirit to the younger Otis in their garden-court motel home.” Labeouf himself stars in the film as a version of his father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon. According to the press release:
“A one-of-a-kind collaboration between filmmaker and subject, exploring art as medicine and imagination as hope through the life and times of a talented, traumatized performer who dares to go in search of himself.”
Shia Labeouf has had a very long, successful career riddled with many, very public mistakes. Although his filmography stretches back to his early childhood, Shia really stepped into the bright spotlight on Disney Channel’s hit show Even Stevens. A young kid at the time, Shia led the series as its quirky main character.
When he portrayed the leading role in the feature film adaptation of the Young Adult novel Holes, Labeouf’s name spread throughout the business, ultimately landing him the role of Sam Witwicky in the first four installments of the Transformers franchise which remains a worldwide box office success. His career trajectory kept him in the news with wonderful performances in Lawless, Fury and others, as well as controversial roles in Nymphomaniac Volumes I and II.
The trailer gives us glimpses of some of these monumental moments. It opens with the older Otis strapped to wires as he’s thrown back in an explosion, the type of explosion Michael Bay would do in a Transformers film. We see a young Otis enthralled in a high-energy performance with a blonde wig on the set of a goofy sitcom, something Louis Stevens certainly could have done.
Most intriguing, however, are the glimpses of his life that have been adapted for the film. Similar to the accident seen in the trailer, Labeouf was involved in a very public car accident that left him with a damaged hand. He has also had multiple run-ins with police for drunk and disorderly conduct which the film appears to explore. Labeouf’s addiction struggles are extensive and well documented, but it seems the talented actor is ready to shed some light on the more private aspects of his life like his relationship with his father, and fans are ready to listen.
The 93 minute film is produced by Har’el, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Anita Gou and Christopher Leggett. Executive Producers are Fred Berger, Rafael Marmor, Daniel Crown and Bill Benenson. Honey Boy is produced by Automatik and Delirio, in association with Stay Gold Features, Kindred Spirit and Red Crown Productions.
Amazon Studios will release Honey Boy in theaters on November 8, 2019. Check out the Official Trailer and the slightly longer Red Band trailer below.