Only Shia LaBeouf could produce a biopic that isn't even a biopic. Deadline reported Friday that LaBeouf's life has been greenlit — it's being made into a movie called Honey Boy, and Lucas Hedges (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Lady Bird) will be starring as LaBeouf. Oh, and LaBeouf himself wrote the script.
Honey Boy isn't a biopic in terms of scope, mainly. The script covers LaBeouf's tumultuous early career, which was heavily influenced by LaBeouf's dad. The Even Stevens actor first entered the entertainment industry as a stand up comedian when he was 10 years old. Despite his age, LaBeouf would practice comedy at clubs in Echo Park, where he grew up. LaBeouf told the L.A. Times in 2011 that he had the mouth of a "50-year-old" — that was his "thing." The 10-year-old entertainment hopeful (he also told the times he wanted to be famous only for the "opulence") then called an agent himself, as the story goes, and quickly began booking jobs.
Honey Boy focuses on these earlier years, when LaBeouf's father Jeffrey LaBeouf played a role in his career. The title refers to a moment during production of The Christmas Path when LaBeouf asked his father to stand behind the camera during a particularly difficult scene.
"This is when he was still parent on set, and I brought my dad in and placed him right on the dolly. Right before we filmed, I looked at him and my dad mouthed, 'You can do it, honey boy,'" he told Interview Magazine in 2014. LaBeouf also revealed in the interview that he financially supported his dad,
"I financially support his whole lifestyle. I pay him to be my marionette puppeteer," he admitted. "My dad is the key to most of my base emotions," he added. "My greatest and my worst memories are with my father, all my major trauma and major celebration came from him. It’s a negative gift." That negative gift has been flipped to create Honey Boy.
According to an interview with Esquire released only last week, LaBeouf wrote the screenplay while in court-ordered rehab last year. The script follows versions of Shia and Jeffrey as they navigate the first decade. The character names, as per Deadline, are Otis (Shia) and James Lort, who is a mock-up of Jeffrey. Alma Har’el, who is known for her documentaries LoveTrue and Bombay Beach, is directing the film.