Shia LaBeouf transforms into his father in Honey Boy, his semi-autobiographical film released in theaters via Amazon Studios this fall.
The trailer opens with Lucas Hedges as Otis (the character based on LaBeouf) in the midst of filming an explosive blockbuster action movie scene in 2005, most likely to be reminiscent of LaBeouf’s own involvement in the Transformers franchise, and includes scenes seemingly taken from various fraught moments of LaBeouf’s career and life, including some arrests and drunken altercations with the authorities. Otis, like LaBeouf, enters rehab and goes through exposure therapy to role-play portions of his life and re-live his troubled past as a child actor, supported often by his father, who helped manage his career.
The film also focuses on LaBeouf’s childhood, all the way back to his Even Stevens days on Disney Channel, with Noah Jupe playing a 12-year-old version of the actor, and LaBeouf playing a version of his own father. LaBeouf’s real-life father Jeffrey trained as a clown and was an opening act on tour for the Doobie Brothers earlier in his career. In the trailer, LaBeouf dresses up as a rodeo clown and nicknames the young version of himself “Honey Boy” (hence the title of the film).
Working on the set of Honey Boy was also the catalyst for LaBeouf’s real-life relationship with FKA Twigs, who appears for a brief moment in the trailer during a scene with Jupe. It is unclear how much of a role she play sin the film, but her character’s name is listed as “Shy Girl” on the Honey Boy IMDb page.
The film will get a wide release this November, but it premiered earlier this year at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and garnered generally favorable reviews from critics.