Robert De Niro and Shia LaBeouf are joining forces for After Exile, a crime drama based on true events. Oddly enough, this movie isn’t a sequel, nor is it an adaptation of a comic book or a TV show. Weird, right? Do they even make movies like that anymore? Joshua Michael Stern, director of the other Steve Jobs biopic Jobs, is set to helm this story of an ex-con and his ex-criminal father.
Deadline broke the news about After Exile, a new drama starring Robert De Niro and Shia LaBeouf. Joshua Michael Stern is directing a script by Anthony Thorne and Michael Tovo – with Tovo drawing on events from his real life. Here’s the synopsis:
After Exile is the story of Mike Delaney (LaBeouf) who, after being released from prison for killing an innocent man after a violent robbery, must re-enter his old life where he and his ex-criminal father (De Niro) attempt to save his younger brother from a life of drugs and crime. The drama is about the difficult trajectory toward forgiveness and redemption. De Niro will play Ted Delaney, an ex-con who lost his wife years ago and now suffers from alcoholism and guilt. All he has left is the instinct to save his two sons from the dark and destructive paths they are on.
The most remarkable thing about this synopsis: it’s an original idea. I don’t mean original in the sense that it’s never been done before; I mean original as in it’s not a comic book movie or a franchise film. That’s becoming increasingly rare these days, so even if After Exile turns out to be a snooze I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt on this fact alone.
De Niro has been on autopilot for the last few years, but I’m hoping his reunion with Martin Scorsese for The Irishman has rejuvenated him a bit. LaBeouf’s career has been a bit rocky, but I have a feeling his work in the fantastic upcoming film Honey Boy is going to help remind people he’s a genuinely good actor. In short, teaming De Niro and LaBeouf up for this project might pay off.