The Strange Saga of Shia LaBeouf’s Latest Plagiarism Scandal

That "Eagle Eye" super-computer that sounds like Julianne Moore had best set its sights on Shia LaBeouf for real, because the actor has been accused of stealing things left and right lately.

The "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" star stirred up quite the controversy yesterday with the online debut of his short film, "" The 12-minute film, which made its offline debut at Cannes in 2012, depicts the plight of an online movie critic (Jim Gaffigan) struggling with coming to terms with the possibility that he might have to pan the latest work of one of his favorite filmmakers.

"" served as a bit of personal therapy for LaBeouf. "I have been crushed by critics (especially during my 'Transformers' run), and in trying to come to terms with my feelings about critics, I needed to understand them," he told Short of the Week. "As I tried to empathize with the sort of man who might earn a living taking potshots at me and the people I've worked with, a small script developed."

Jim Gaffigan in ''
Jim Gaffigan in ''

LaBeouf's own experiences apparently weren't the only elements that went into the film's development. Turns out, "" is an uncredited adaptation (aka 'rip-off') of "Justin M. Damiano," a 2008 graphic novel by Daniel Clowes ("Ghost World").

BuzzFeed describes some of the similarities between LaBeouf's film and Clowes' book:

—Both the film and comic begin with the same narration by the main character: "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."

—The next scene in both the comic and film features the critic having a conversation with a female freelance critic, who asks the critic if he is going to a junket which she will be attending despite its lack of actors. In the film, she says of the filmmaker they're discussing, "He so perfectly gets how we're really all like these aliens who can never have any meaningful contact with each other because we're all so caught up in our own little self-made realities, you know?" ... which is nearly identical to the dialogue in the comic.

"" has since been removed from the Internet, with Shia LaBeouf apologizing to Daniel Clowes and his fans via a series of tweets late Monday night:

Believe it or not, LaBeouf's apparent knack for knockoffs doesn't end there. Part of his apology was seemingly lifted from a post on Yahoo! Answers made over four years ago by someone named 'Lili':

"Merely copying isn't particularly creative work, though it's useful as training and practice," she writes. "Being inspired by someone else's idea to produce something new and different IS creative work, and it may even revolutionalize [sic] the 'stolen' concept."

We now await Shia LaBeouf's tweeted apology to Lili.

[Related: Film Review: 'Nymphomaniac']

This isn't the first time that the "Transformers" star has been accused of plagiarism ... and in an apology, at that. After his much-publicized email spat with Alec Baldwin earlier this year over his departure from a New York stage production of Lyle Kessler's "Orphans," LaBeouf said he was sorry to his would-be co-star ... by quoting Tom Chiarella's "What Is a Man?," an article that appeared in the Esquire's 2009 "How to Be a Man" issue.

"A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it's just to put an end to the bickering," wrote LaBeouf, quoting Chiarella's article without any credit to the author.

Steal big, steal little! When will it all end?

Meanwhile, Shia LaBeouf has at least commenced with attempting to fix the "" mess beyond just a Twitter apology. The Wrap reports that he's looking to "make it right," a process that may include some sort of monetary settlement for Daniel Clowes and, perhaps more importantly, proper credit for his work.

That's nice. In the meantime, we recommend that Shia be placed under house arrest with a hot mom (Carrie-Anne Moss) and hot neighbor (Sarah Roemer). That'll teach him.