Before we begin it is important that we go over a brief history of our man of the hour before discussing his latest endeavor.
LaBeouf began his career in performing by getting on stage at comedy clubs around his neighborhood at age ten. He found himself an agent and ended up getting his big break on the Disney Channel original series, Even Stevens. This break was quickly followed by Holes. He also starred in a historical drama, a thriller, was a host on SNL, and then ascended to his first big adult role as Sam Winnicky in the Michael Bay Transformers series. He was also cast in the critically panned fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Somewhere amidst his success, he began to build a name for himself as being odd and slightly unhinged. This stereotype was amplified by his performance art, the most famous being when he covered his face with a paper bag that had “I’m not famous anymore” scrawled in sharpie across the front. The other being his “Just Do It” speech in front of a green screen. He also received criticism for being a dancer in a Sia music video with then thirteen-year-old Maddie Ziegler and performing a dance that many felt had sexual undertones. Amongst all of this chaos Labeouf also stated that he experienced a religious conversion while doing the film Fury saying, "I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a f*cking bullshit way – in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me"
What does all this add up to? At the end of the day, no one really knows what to think about this guy who is, admittedly, a talented actor but an enigmatic person. We should also be asking the question, who does Shia Labeouf want to be? Because his up-coming film might give us a clue.
Peanut Butter Falcon is a heartwarming, coming-of-age, road trip comedy. The film follows a young man with Downs Syndrom who runs away from a residential nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. Along the way, he meets a prickly drifter who takes a liking to him and agrees to help him get to wrestling school. They are also followed and joined by the young man’s sympathetic caretaker, Eleanor, who is on direct orders to bring him back. The film, with its limited cast, evokes the charm of an indie movie. We haven’t seen Shia Labeouf in a film like this since he was thirteen years old and starred in Holes. Maybe things have now come full circle.
The film is written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz. It stars Shia Labeouf, Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern, and Zack Gottsagen. The film will be released on August 9th.