The upcoming Shia LaBeouf biopic Honey Boy just landed Manchester by the Sea actor Lucas Hedges as its lead star. It's one of the strangest movies that's in development right now; a biopic about LaBeouf's life and his relationship with his father.
Honey Boy will star Lady Bird's Hedges as a younger, scrappier version of LaBeouf, charting his coming of age as he navigates a troubled relationship with his alcoholic father. And what's even more interesting than a biopic about LaBeouf's life is that LaBeouf himself will star in the film - which he co-wrote under the pseudonym as Otis Lort - as his father, thus providing an intriguing dynamic that LaBeouf's fans probably wouldn't have seen coming a year ago, but it's a role that's surely personal for him.
THR reports that the Honey Boy script had landed on the Black List thanks to the following synopsis: "A child actor and his law-breaking, alcohol-abusing father attempt to mend their contentious relationship over the course of a decade." Esquire reports the film will focus on LaBeouf as he stars on Disney Channel's Even Stevens as the mischief-making Louis Anthony Stevens, a role that earned LaBeouf a Daytime Emmy in 2003.
The film's title derives from a nickname LeBeouf's father gave the outspoken actor, who recently called his Transformer movies "irrelevant". LeBeouf's dad formerly worked as a clown-performer (who proudly opened for the Doobie Brothers). LeBeouf also told Esquire that the film will trace his childhood as he bounces back and forth between the Even Stevens set and 12-steps programs with his dad, a Vietnam War veteran who struggled with heroin addiction on top of his alcohol dependence. (LaBeouf was once arrested for publish drunkenness himself.) Alma Har'el is set to direct and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones will produce alongside Delirio Film's Christopher Leggett and Stay Gold Features' Daniela Taplin Lungberg.
Hedges, who has demonstrated his dramatic acting chops in Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, will no doubt excel at the material, and his experience in award-nominated films should help him portray Shia LeBeouf accurately and in a sympathetic light. Meanwhile, Hedges is also set to star with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe in the September release Boy Erased, a gay-themed drama about conversion therapy based on Garrard Conley's memoir of the same name. And he'll portray another troubled young man in Ben Is Back, a film co-starring Julia Roberts that's written and directed by his father, Peter Hedges.