The plot seems to be getting thicker by the minute in the latest drama surrounding actor Shia LaBeouf. As you may already know, earlier this week the Transformers star was accused, and since apologized, for plagiarizing artist Daniel Clowes. Well, now there is a possibility that the actor may be cast in a new role; defendant.
The whole situation revolves around his latest short film HowardCantour.com, which he debuted at the May 2012 Cannes Film Festival. It stars comedian Jim Gaffigan as online film critic Howard Cantour. The short has been deemed as an almost direct adaption of Justin M. Damiano by artist Daniel Clowes.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Clowes himself declined to comment; however, his publisher Fantographics’ Eric Reynolds, Clowes is currently exploring his legal options.
Reynolds told EW that he was appalled by the situation.
“LaBeouf changed the name of the main character, but he used the comic as a direct script and storyboard,” Reynolds said. “Clowes has a real melodramatic voice that is very idiosyncratic and LaBeouf just used the dialogue word for word. There is no ambiguity. There is no way that anybody wrote this but Dan Clowes. It just defies any kind of logic or good sense. This was so blatant and inexcusable that it was as baffling as it was appalling.”
Shortly after the incident blew up, LaBeouf took to Twitter to express his apologies.
“Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work.” He says. “In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation. I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it. I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work. I f—– up.”
According to the EW report, Reynolds said that LaBeouf has not reached out to Clowes personally to apologize.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Clowes would be well within his legal right to pursue the matter; however, there is always the possibility that this entire thing could be resolved through a simple conversation and a heartfelt personal apology. We’ll all just have to wait and see.