Shia LeBeouf released a new short film named HowardCantour.com, starring Jim Gaffigan as a disillusioned film critic yesterday. The film first debuted in 2012 at the Cannes Film Festival, and LeBeouf said in interviews that the film script was based upon his own experiences dealing with critics panning his awful acting in movies such as Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.
Here's the trailer for the film, which opens with Cantour stating that “A critic is a warrior, and each of us on the battlefield have the means to glorify or demolish (whether a film, a career, or an entire philosophy) by influencing perception in ways that if heartfelt and truthful, can have far-reaching repercussions.”
Pretty neat, eh? There's only one problem with the film...he stole the concept, dialogue and plot from Daniel Clowes. Daniel Clowes, the award winning cartoonist best known for Ghost World and his work in Eightball, originally wrote the story as Justin M Damiano, a short graphic novella released in 2007. LaBeouf copied entire scenes, lines of dialogue, and the character of Damiano for his short, changing only the name for his short film.
Buzzfeed broke the story yesterday, and interviewed Clowes, who confirmed that he had never been approached by anyone about the film, and had only heard about LaBeouf's adaptation after he had been emailed earlier that day. Fantagraphics, the publisher of much of Clowes work, called the film "shameless theft".
Late last night, LaBeouf made a half-hearted attempt to defend his actions before ultimately apologizing for being a fuck up.
Copying isn't particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else's idea to produce something new and different IS creative work.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013
Im embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013
I fucked up.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013
It gets better, though. Bleeding Cool reported that LaBeouf copied and pasted his line about copying from a Yahoo Answers post four years ago. Here's the link (although, it's not the top voted answer, so you might have to scroll down a little).
At least Shia LaBeouf, the drunk, philandering asshat with rage issues, can now add plagarist to his resume.