Shia LaBeouf has resurfaced on the big screen for the first time in two years since he was accused of misconduct.
He can next be seen starring as a Catholic saint in Abel Ferrara’s upcoming “Padre Pio,” which will make its premiere as part of the Venice Days film festival. It’s unclear if LaBeouf will attend the festival.
Venice Days – or the Giornati Degli Autori – is an independent side bar to the Venice Film Festival in the vein of Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight section and is not directly associated with the larger La Biennale. But Ferrara’s “Padre Pio” will make its premiere at the fest as part of a larger lineup that was announced Thursday.
LaBeouf in the film plays the title character Padre Pio, also known as Francesco Forgione and Saint Pius of Pietrelcina. In real life, Padre Pio was the subject of both adoration and controversy because he displayed bodily wounds or stigmata that many believed to be aligned and associated with the crucifixion of Christ. He was beatified in 1999 and canonized as a saint in 2002, both by Pope John Paul II.
The film from Ferrara (“Bad Lieutenant”), however, focuses on Padre Pio’s early days in a small Italian agricultural town and the political unrest that surrounded his early vocation. You can see a brief clip of the film below, which features LaBeouf administering communion.
LaBeouf in 2020 was sued by his ex-girlfriend, singer FKA Twigs, who accused him of abuse and using “calculated, systemic and tricky” tactics to control her in their relationship. LaBeouf’s lawyers have denied all the accusations in the singer’s lawsuit.
The Venice Days lineup also includes a new film by Steve Buscemi called “The Listener” that stars Tessa Thompson.
The festival runs alongside the Venice Film Festival between August 31 and September 8.