LATELY, Mr. Shia LaBeouf, whose hit role in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull put him on Wikipedia, has come under fire for his admission of plagiarizing world-famous cartoonist Daniel Clowes’ short story, “Justin M. Damiano.” When LaBeouf’s film, Howard Cantour.com, released in mid December, fans of indie comics noticed the similarities between the two. Not only didLaBeouf inexplicably “forget” to give Clowes credit after being “inspired” by his story, but he lifted the script practically word for word: switching out names and claiming it as his own. Even lengthy visuals from the comic were directly carried over to the film, leaving little room for ambiguity. When confronted with the scandal, LaBeouf apologized, claiming to have completely spaced out accrediting Clowes, even though he copied his work verbatim.
With the skill of our cutthroat Hollywood reporter team, however, we at The Weeklings have obtained five yet-to-be-released projects LaBeouf currently has in development. As you read on, we’ll be interested in what you think. Has this evil Michael Cera gotten himself into real trouble? Or are we being too hasty?
Man of Bats:
“See, I’ve always thought of myself as a sunny guy,” LaBeouf began sulkily. “And then that started to bother me. Because I began to think, you know, why can’t I be dark and mysterious, too? Like Seal or Stephen Seagal? So that’s where I came up with the idea for this guy, you know, this really rich guy named Gregory Pierce, who fights crime and has a thing for bats. Sonar and stuff. You’ll see. It’s gonna be a doozy.”
LaBeouf’s upcoming film follows the life of a playboy millionaire as he realizes his identity as a superhero so that he can protect a place called Victorion City. This happens in part because his parents were murdered as a child, and he seeks a form of revenge.
“It’s like, when you’re a kid, you really don’t want to have your parents murdered,” said LaBeouf. “That’s where my idea came primarily. I thought to myself, what if my parents had been murdered? And I was like: well, I’d get really into bats. And that’s when the story started to form.”
When asked about what appeared to be some troubling similarities between his new film adaptation and the massive Batman franchise, which has already been made into multiple films and animated series, the most recent of which capturing the adoration of the worldwide public, LaBeouf responded: “Huh.” And a moment later: “Weird.”
When pressed for clarification he admitted: “I’m kind of tired and there’s sushi in my hotel room.”
“I went deep with this one,” LaBeouf stated. “I mean, like, this is some heavy shit. You don’t just come up with this sort of thing on your own. Even if I did.”
LaBeouf’s new endeavor is a personalized memoir of the Holocaust. But as opposed to using traditional actors, he is deciding to convey the message through the use of animals—in this case, Rats as stand-ins for the Jews, and Racoons for the Nazis. LaBeouf said he received his inspiration from “a dream he had sometime in the last few years,” and planned to play at least three different roles. When asked about whether or not LaBeouf had any experience with Holocaust survivors, he said, “I saw Schindler’s List three times.”
“Yes, Ratz is a Holocaust story,” LaBeouf was quoted as saying. “But it’s also kind of like Babe’s Big Adventure. It needs to be something you can take your kids to. Popcorn and Twizzlers, you know?”
Faced with the question of whether he was after an Oscar nod, he didn’t confirm, but nor did he shy away. “I have this phrase I like to say. I find people get something out of it: Life is a lot like a bag of chocolates. You don’t always know what one you’ll get your hands on. Remember that next time you’re in a pickle.”
When asked how LaBeouf plans to approach the creation of Ratz from a directorial standpoint, he responded: “I dunno. Probably with Claymation.”
In this landmark LaBeouf endeavor, which the provocative actor announced he’d be funding on his own through by dint of his new production house Beouf-t-Beouf, Shia has channeled the childhood of a young girl named Nadja growing up in Iran during the Revolution.
Sources say this is a passion project for the young LaBeouf, who has described himself as “super passionate about projects.” Although critics are worried about the Transformer star’s willingness to deal with such pithy material, especially given the fact that he has experienced none of it himself, he appeared remarkably calm.
“Look,” he said. “It’s not like I have to learn Kung Fu or anything,” before making a comment about really wanting to learn Kung Fu. “I’m just excited that I can convey the very personal story of an Iranian girl more than one half my age. That’s what art’s about, in my opinion. Telling stories about things that, you know, you don’t necessarily understand. Or even know about.”
The Upright Deceased:
LaBeouf has deemed this project his first foray into highbrow television. “I always liked TV,” the Lawless frontrunner was quoted saying. “And then I saw Kevin Spacey was doing it and I was like, dude, I’m totally as good as Kevin Spacey. Maybe better.”
LaBeouf later reaffirmed, however, that his main interest was not acting, but writing and producing this cutting edge drama about the zombie apocalypse. “That’s where I shine,” he said gleefully. “When I see words in front of me, I’ve just got to use them.” When asked to clarify what that meant he said, “That’s film-industry speak for the ‘creative process.’ When you come up with the sort of idea I have for this series, you start to wonder at where in the hell the inspiration came from? It’s a process more mysterious life itself. I’m into it.”
The Upright Deceased takes a unique approach to the already-saturated Zombie genre in the American landscape, focusing on character-centered drama and sociopolitical commentary by means of the main protagonist, an ornery, goodhearted sheriff named Jerry Knives. LaBeouf put his own feelings on the project best when he said, “it’s gonna be tight.”
When asked about notable similarities between The Upright Deceased and other series, one of which is both a popular comic and a well-received television show that covers much of the same ground, he said, “That’s cray-cray, son. Let me get back to you.”
Not many know this about LaBeouf, but he’s also a bit of an artiste.
“I’ve been drawing comics and I think they’re really fucking good,” he says of his gentleman’s pursuit. “I’ve got what you’d call a steady hand, and that’s all you need to hold a pencil.”
LaBeouf now plans to take his ‘steady hand’ to the next level as he makes his foray into not only film, but graphic fiction. He wants to start it as a comic strip, one he hopes to serialize in newspapers around the country, and produce films on the side.
“It’s called Almonds,” he said. “But it’s not about nuts at all. It’s about this kid named Freddy Green, who always where’s a yellow shirt with squiggly dots on it. He’s got a bald head, his dad’s a barber, and is always getting tricked by this girl named Janice with a football, but he always seems to come out all right. Oh, and he’s got this dog, a little jack russel named Sniffer. And there’s this kid that’s always really dirty. Oh, don’t they have the best of times together.”
When asked why the strip itself will be called Almonds, as opposed to being named after the main character, LaBeouf said, “Oh, it’s ’cause I decided to shape their heads like almonds. You know, ’cause that’s the type of shit that makes you different. If someone draws a circle, me, I draw an oval.”
LaBeouf seemed at his happiest when talking about this project. “It’s like, I’m not saying that I know what people like. But damn it all if I don’t.”
He has also announced his plans to direct a screenplay on the characters of Almonds called a Freddy Green Christmas.