LaBeouf, who last appeared in Netflix’s Oscar-contender “Pieces of a Woman,” is set to star in director Abel Ferrara’s next feature, in which he’ll play 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 told Variety about the project before confirming the actor’s involvement.
Willem Dafoe, who has collaborated with the legendary director on six prior features, is also eyeing a role in the currently untitled film, which is set to begin production in Puglia this October.
Ferrara added that with LaBeouf attached to star as the controversial religious figure, who became famous for claiming to exhibit stigmata, the film is “all set” to start filming soon.
The film would be LaBeouf’s first project since his ex-girlfriend and “Honey Boy” co-star FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against him for allegedly “physically, mentally and emotionally” abusing her over the course of their now-ended relationship.
The “Magdalene” musician said that LaBeouf knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease, choked her in the middle of the night, threw her up against a car and threatened to crash a car they were in unless she expressed her love for him.
Another ex-girlfriend of LaBeouf’s, Karolyn Pho, is also named in the suit as an alleged victim of physical abuse. Other women, including recording artist Sia, later came forward with accounts of the actor’s violent behavior.
Amid the fallout from the lawsuit, LaBeouf’s agency CAA dropped him from its roster and his attorney announced that the actor was seeking the “meaningful, intensive, long-term inpatient treatment that he desperately needs.”
In February, LaBeouf was reportedly living at an inpatient facility, with an unnamed source telling Variety that the actor’s “release will be dependent on his recovery.”
LaBeouf initially seemed to take responsibility for his actions, acknowledging that he had no excuse for what he described as his “alcoholism or aggression.”
But in response to FKA Twigs’ lawsuit, his lawyers said the actor “denies, generally and specifically, each and every allegation” made against him.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
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