Say what? Shia LaBeouf has landed his comeback role in Abel Ferrara’s new film months after he was accused of sexual battery by his ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs.
The American independent filmmaker revealed to Variety that the embattled actor has been cast in the lead role in his next movie, which will depict the younger years of Italian Saint Padre Pio.
“We’re doing a film about Padre Pio, he’s a monk from Puglia. It’s set in Italy right after World War I. He’s now a saint, he had stigmata. He was also in the middle of a very heavy political period in world history,” Ferrara said. “He was very young before he became a saint, so Shia LaBeouf is going to play the monk.”
The director’s close friend and regular collaborator Willem Dafoe is also circling a role alongside LaBeouf.
The casting news comes months after LaBeouf parted ways with his agency and reportedly took a break from acting after “Cellophane” singer Twigs – who starred alongside the actor in Honey Boy – filed a lawsuit in December accusing him of sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress during their brief relationship between 2018 and 2019.
The Transformers star denied the allegations and checked into rehab earlier this year. It was reported in June that Twigs and LaBeouf were engaged in “productive settlement negotiations” regarding the lawsuit and the next court date is set for 15 December.
He was most recently seen in David Ayer’s The Tax Collector and Netflix drama Pieces of a Woman, alongside Vanessa Kirby, last year.
News of the casting quickly attracted controversy. ‘Shoots dogs. Beats women. Ummmm I’m gonna pass. Glad he got a Comeback Role though,’ Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause tweeted, echoing others concerns over the star getting a role despite the allegations against him. ‘Of course he is, no consequences,’ one wrote.
The “shoots dogs” claim refers to allegations made by FKA Twigs that LaBeouf drove around Los Angeles shooting stray dogs to prepare for his performance in The Tax Collector.