Amazon has stepped in to buy another buzzy Sundance title, acquiring global rights to Shia LaBeouf’s “Honey Boy.”
The much talked about film was written by and stars LaBeouf has his real-life father and was directed by Alma Ha’rel. “Honey Boy” was sought after by multiple distributors, but Amazon ultimately closed the deal for global rights to the film for roughly $5 million.
LaBeouf wrote the film following a stint in rehab. It’s based on his own experience with his father growing up and also stars Lucas Hedges, Noah Jupe and FKA Twigs. The film paints a painful yet inspired portrait of growing up, as it follows its main character, 12-year-old Otis (an avatar for LaBeouf) and his life as a successful child TV star, which he shares with his overbearing, abusive and addict father in a motel on the edge of the city.
“Honey Boy” follows two threads of time, watching father and son’s contentious relationship and the attempts to mend it across the course of a decade.
“It’s strange to fetishize your pain and make a product out of it,” LaBeouf said during a Q&A following the film’s Sundance premiere last week. “And you feel guilty about that. It felt very selfish. This whole thing felt very selfish. I never went into this thinking, ‘Oh let me f–ing help people.’ That wasn’t my goal. I was falling apart.”
“Honey Boy” premiered during the U.S. Drama category of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Amazon has been extremely active during the festival, which it kicked off by acquiring rights to Mindy Kaling’s lauded “Late Night” for $13 million. The online retailer turned Hollywood heavy hitter then dropped $14 million a piece for the rights for the fact-based political thriller “The Report” and the inspirational comedy “Brittany Runs a Marathon.”