LaBeouf joins Adam Driver and Aubrey Plaza in the Coppola epic, adding to the struggling actor’s growing list of comeback projects.
Shia LaBeouf isn’t worried about his comeback.
After splitting from Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, retracing the autobiographical status of his father-son drama Honey Boy and speaking out about the abuse allegations and lawsuit filed by ex-partner FKA Twigs, the ‘Padre Pio’ actor has joined Francis Ford Coppola’s massive ‘Megalopolis’ cast.
LaBeouf’s casting announcement also included that director Coppola’s sister, Talia Shire (“Rocky”), will be reuniting with the writer after starring in The Godfather alongside nephew Jason Schwartzman. Grace Vanderwaal, Kathryn Hunter and James Remar also join the ensemble cast.
Previously announced “Megalopolis” megastars include Adam Driver, Nathalie Emmanuel, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jon Voight and Aubrey Plaza. The official synopsis of “Megalopolis” mysteriously reads: “The fate of Rome haunts a modern world unable to solve its own social problems in this epic tale of political ambition, genius and love at odds.”
Writer/director Coppola is said to be spending hundreds of millions of his own dollars to fund the epic futuristic feature film that took over 20 years to make. The film begins shooting in Georgia in November 2022 and will run through March 2023.
LaBeouf is also directing Abel Ferrara’s biopic Padre Pio about controversial priest Francesco Forgione. The Holes graduate was cast in the film after Willem Dafoe suggested he was perfect for portraying the Italian monk who rose to fame in Catholicism during the two world wars. The film will premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, which LaBeouf will attend. However, the actor will not do any press for the film.
“He’s an icon,” director Ferrara previously told Variety of Padre Pio’s legacy. “It’s in the back of every truck. He’s the saint of all drug dealers in Naples. Pio is like the alternative Jesus in a way.”
After reaching out to LaBeouf about the role, Ferrara said that the Transformers graduate soon after “went to a monastery in California” to fully immerse himself in the experience. LaBeouf donned monk-like robes and slept in Padre Pio’s former bed in a southern Italian monastery during production. Ferrara noted that the film is endorsed by the Padre Pio Brotherhood, with LaBeouf acting opposite real-life monks.
“He brings his own life,” Ferrara said of LaBeouf’s performance. “You see a person going through a very similar experience. It’s not just about wearing robes and performing actions. He connected very deeply to Pio’s journey in the film. When the actor goes through a parallel journey, you get such a powerful performance.”
LaBeouf took a two-year hiatus from acting after ex-girlfriend FKA claimed Twig’s assault. LaBeouf is also set to star opposite Robert De Niro in “After Exile,” which is about a convict looking for redemption.