Shia LaBeouf ‘s newest — and most personal — film is coming to Amazon, after garnering critical acclaim from the awards circuit. LaBeouf, who wrote and starred in Honey Boy, premiered the film at the Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation. And now, according to Variety, the movie is poised to be a big hit for Amazon, and a major comeback for LaBeouf.
Written by LaBeouf, the film offers a deeply personal look at the actor’s complicated relationship with fame and stardom. Honey Boy follows a rising child actor grappling with celebrity under the eye of his father — played by LaBeouf himself. Child star Noah Jupe plays Otis Lort, while LaBeouf wowed audiences with his passionate and devastating portrayal of Otis’ dad, a character based on Shia’s own father.
The incredibly personal script came directly from LaBeouf’s personal demons. After shooting to fame in blockbuster films — including numerous entries in the Transformers franchise — the actor publicly struggled with the fame and scrutiny. He’s had several run-ins with the law and battled substance abuse for years. LaBeouf eventually sought help for these issues, and entered a treatment program; the script for Honey Boy was actually written as part of his rehabilitation process.
Amazon scooped up the acclaimed film shortly after the premiere, paying a reported $5 million for the independent film’s international rights. There are no concrete details as to when Amazon intends to release the movie.
But Amazon wasn’t the only company interested in pursuing LaBeouf’s latest film. According to reports, Sony Pictures Classics and HBO were both in the running to pick up the movie, before it was finally scooped up by Amazon.
Amazon has been making major investments in independent films as of late, in an attempt to find another big hit for the company. Besides Honey Boy, Amazon purchased three other films: Late Night, Brittany Runs A Marathon, and The Report. The company spared no expense when it came to these films. According to reports, Amazon paid $13 million for the U.S. rights for Late Night. Brittany Runs A Marathon and The Report both had international rights picked up for a whopping $14 million.
This is all great news for LaBeouf, who has been largely out of the public eye as of late, as he focuses on his rehabilitation. That being said, don’t expect a return to the cinematic blockbusters any time soon. According to reports by Page Six, the Transformers star is focused more on teaching, as opposed to performing. LaBeouf started his own theater school in September of last year, and teaching has become his primary focus. While he’ll continue to act from time to time, LaBeouf reportedly wants to make it more of a side career, instead of his primary focus.