EXCLUSIVE: Shia LaBeouf once told an interviewer that when he was a child star his father’s pet name for him was “Honey Boy.”
Now LaBeouf is making a movie about his childhood and his relationship with his father. It’s called “Honey Boy” and he wrote it himself. His alter ego is called Otis Lort.
This is the description of the movie: “Otis Lort is a 12 year old kid who’s a rising star on television — but his life revolves around his father James, a man with a past so checkered they might as well paint it black. An ex-con, a recovering drug addict, James is an unemployable trainwreck, a narcissist, a terrific conversationalist, but an utterly unreliable father. Ten years later, 22 year old Otis is well on his way to being a trainwreck himself: he’s almost unemployable in the movie industry, he’s diagnosed as suffering from childhood PTSD, & he’s having a hard time preparing himself for the biggest event of his life: the imminent meeting with his father who he hasn’t seen for years.”
There are many weird things here, of course. The screenplay is credited to Shia and to “Otis Lort,” the same name as the character. It’s unclear if Lort is a pseudonym for Shia’s real life father, Jeffrey laBeouf, or Shia, or just an inside joke. In the screenplay, Otis’s father is named James, who is “an ex-Rodeo Clown, an ex-convict with a rape conviction hanging over his head & a long history of drug addiction, alcoholism and narcissism.”
Otis, the character, grows up to age 22 after starring in a children’s TV series– as Shia did in Disney’s “Even Stevens.” He is now “a leading star in big Hollywood films, a professional actor for half his young life. On the set, he is focused and fine-tuned, like an owl statue but in real life he has internalized his father’s anger, insecurity & alcoholism.”
Israeli commercial director Alma Harel is said to be taking this project on. Producers are Brian Kavanaugh and Chris Leggett.