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(Credit: Armory Films)


Shia LaBeouf cast as a saint in Abel Ferrara's new film

Absent from mainstream filmmaking for a number of years, Shia LaBeouf has been cast in Abel Ferrara’s new film as an Italian saint amidst the actor’s ongoing sexual battery lawsuit filed by FKA twigs. 

The lawsuit was filed in December 2020 when Tahliah Barnett (FKA twigs) sued her ex-boyfriend for alleged sexual battery, explaining multiple times the actor subjected her to emotional abuse. LaBeouf’s legal team denied “each and every” accusation in the singers claim, in accordance with a report from People, they state that the allegation of sexual battery is wrong, “Because none of the acts alleged were based on sex”. 

As the case continues, and The NY Daily News reports the possibility of a settlement between the pair, director Abel Ferrara has cast the actor in his next film where he’ll play Italian saint Padre Pio alongside touted Willem Dafoe.

Speaking to Variety, the director stated: “We’re doing a film about Padre Pio, he’s a monk from Puglia. It’s set in Italy right after World War I…He’s now a saint, he had stigmata. He was also in the middle of a very heavy political period in world history. He was very young before he became a saint, so Shia LaBeouf is going to play the monk”. 

In conversation with Elle earlier this year Tahliah Barnett detailed her past relationship with the actor and accused him of using “calculated, systematic, tricky, and maze-like” methods to control her.

The American director, Abel Ferrara, is known for gritty crime dramas including Bad Lieutenant and The King of New York, and added that he plans to shoot his new film this October in Puglia.