Shia LaBeouf plays his own father (in a sense) in the trailer for the upcoming biographical feature, Honey Boy. After starting off his acting career as a teenager on the hit Disney Channel series Even Stevens in the early 2000s, LaBeouf graduated to starring in big-budget tentpoles like Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He thereafter began to collaborate with filmmakers like Lars von Trier and Andrea Arnold on arthouse and/or indie movies, even as he struggled in his personal life and often found himself in the spotlight for his self-destructive behavior.
Eventually, as part of a rehabilitation program, LaBeouf wrote a script about his tumultuous childhood and relationship with his father titled Honey Boy (his childhood nickname). After sharing the script with his friend Alma Har'el, the latter decided she wanted to direct it as her non-documentary feature debut. The movie casts Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) as the kid and adult versions of Otis Lort - the semi-fictionalized version of LaBeouf - with the latter playing the character's father James (who's inspired by his own dad, Jeffrey).
Amazon Studios acquired Honey Boy for distribution after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this year, and plans to screen it at TIFF 2019 in the upcoming weeks (ahead of its November launch). You can watch the movie's newly-unveiled trailer in the space below.
Early reviews for Honey Boy have described the film as a fascinating work of therapy by way of cinema, with LaBeouf delivering a compelling performance opposite Jupe and Hedges as his onscreen son. The movie's supporting cast is also stacked with talent, with Maika Monroe (It Follows), Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll), Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld), and actor-musician FKA Twigs among the names who play key characters in the project. Those familiar with LaBeouf's previous work in film and television, as well as his much-publicized behavior over the years, will no doubt recognize the similarities to his real life and the footage in the Honey Boy trailer, too.
It's no coincidence the Honey Boy trailer has arrived in time to play alongside LaBeouf's new film, The Peanut Butter Falcon, on the big screen, either. The indie dramedy is also being celebrated by critics and took home the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award at SXSW back in March, with LaBeouf picking up additional praise for playing "Tyler" - a character who, much like Otis, has led a hard life paralleling his own in more ways than one. However that movie and Honey Boy fare from hereon out, it's great to see LaBeouf is doing well - both personally and professionally - and producing some truly unique art along the way.
Source: Amazon Studios
- Honey Boy (2019) release date: Nov 08, 2019