Though critics enjoyed Shia LaBeuof's 2012 directorial debutHowardCantour.com, after making the film available on Vimeo Monday, the tide quickly turned once viewers began to notice the nearly identical resemblance to Daniel Clowes' 2007 comic Justin M. Damiano.
LaBeouf doesn't even bother to hide the source material in the film, stealing Clowes' opening narration verbatim, along with several other lines of dialogue, but the actor failed to cite Clowes in the credits. Once the criticism began gathering speed, the video was taken offline (though it is still available on Buzzfeed).
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Clowes, who's best known for Ghost World, said he's "shocked" and doesn't understand why LaBeouf would so shamelessly steal his work. "The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I've never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf," Clowes toldBuzzfeed. "I've never even seen one of his films that I can recall — and I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work. I actually can't imagine what was going through his mind."read more
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Shia LaBeouf has quit The Orphans, a Broadway play he was supposed to star in alongside Alec Baldwin, less than a month before its scheduled opening.
Producers said Wednesday that they were parting ways with LaBeouf due to "creative differences," and were looking to recast his role. LaBeouf took to Twitter, posting pictures of private e-mails between himself and the play's director Daniel Sullivan, playwright Lyle Kessler, Baldwin and their co-star Tom Sturridge, as well as his audition video.