Shia LaBeouf To Portray Saint Padre Pio After Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

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Shia LaBeouf
Actor Shia LaBeouf arrives on the red carpet for the film "Man Down" during the 40th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, September 15, 2015. TIFF runs from September 10-20. Reuters/Mark Blinch

Shia LaBeouf, who faced a sexual abuse lawsuit and misdemeanor charges last year, is all set to make a movie comeback with a saint's character.

Director Abel Ferrara, 70, revealed that LaBeouf, 35, will portray Italian Saint Padre Pio in an upcoming movie about the saint's younger days.

"We're doing a film about Padre Pio, he's a monk from Puglia. It’s set in Italy right after World War I," Ferrara told Variety Thursday. "He's now a saint, he had stigmata. He was also in the middle of a very heavy political period in world history."

The director further revealed that the saint "was very young before he became a saint, so Shia LaBeouf is going to play the monk."

Ferrara will film the movie in October in Puglia, Italy. The filmmaker noted that his upcoming movie is going to be "bigger" compared to many of his recently released movies as he has been working on this project for a long time.

Padre Pio, whose full name is Francesco Forgione, was born in 1887 in southern Italy and died in 1968 at the age of 81. During his life, he became popular for showing his stigmata, which corresponded to Jesus Christ's crucifixion wounds. In Roman Catholicism, it is believed that a person who has stigmata is someone who has lived a life of heroic virtue.

On the other hand, LaBeouf made headlines last year for negative reasons. In October 2020, the "Transformers" star was charged with misdemeanors after he stole a man's hat following a fight.

Two months later, the actor's ex-girlfriend, musician FKA twigs, sued him for his alleged abusive behavior. The lawsuit against him also mentioned emotional abuse, sexual battery and assault, which LaBeouf denied.

Following FKA twigs' lawsuit, Singer Sia also came forward, claiming that the actor had hurt her as well. In a now-deleted tweet, the "Chandelier" singer wrote, "I too have been hurt emotionally by Shia, a pathological liar, who conned me into an adulterous relationship claiming to be single. I believe he's very sick and have compassion for him AND his victims. Just know, if you love yourself- stay safe, stay away."

The actor will be next seen in "After Exile," which is directed by Nick Cassavetes.

Shia LaBeouf

Photo: Getty Images/Alberto E. Rodriguez

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