In the eight months since he was accused of sexual battery and abuse by his former romantic partner, musician Tahliah “FKA Twigs” Barnett, Shia LaBeouf’s acting resumé has been decidedly empty. LaBeouf—who was enjoying a bit of a career resurgence at the time, off of the strength of his semi-autobiographical Honey Boy—was subsequently fired from Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, and parted ways with his managers at CAA, after Barnett accused him of “relentless abuse” during their relationship, suing him for “sexual battery, assault, and infliction of mental distress.”
At the time, LaBeouf indicated that he would be seeking inpatient treatment for his various issues, notably alcohol abuse, and would be stepping away from acting for a time. (His responses to the suit, filtered mostly through letters to The New York Times, denied many of Barnett’s claims, but also framed much of his behavior in terms of addiction.) Now, though, it sounds like LaBeouf has decided that he’s ready to end that sabbatical, having been cast in the central role of Abel Ferrara’s new film about Italian saint Padre Pio.
This is per a recent interview Ferrara gave to Variety, in which the veteran independent director stated that LaBeouf had just come aboard the project, with no mention made (by Ferrara) of the recent allegations against the actor. (As a long-time outsider from the Hollywood system, responsible for films including The Addiction and Funeral, and, most recently, the Willem Dafoe-starring Tommaso, it’s not wholly surprising, if still disappointing, to see Ferrara apparently court LaBeouf for the part.) Per Ferrara, LaBeouf will play Padre Pio, an Italian monk who lived from 1887 to 1968, and who allegedly experienced stigmata.
In other, less dispiriting news: Barnett is currently working on her third studio album, a follow-up to 2019's Magdalene. No current release date is set, although Barnett has said she hopes to release the album in 2021.