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Casting Carousel For Lee Daniels' "Paperboy" Thriller Continues... David Oyelowo Added

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 28, 2011 2:13 AM
12 Comments
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The last time I wrote about this project, I told myself that I wouldn't write about it anymore, until the damn thing was actually shooting.

He’s certainly been stacking up the projects over the last couple of years, since Precious; but when is Mr Daniels going to actually, finally get the chance to make one of them? Since its theatrical release, Daniels’ name has been attached to quite a few projects – Selma, Miss Saigon, Iced, Anna In The Tropics, The Butler, and more, including, most recently, The Paperboy, based on an award-winning novel of the same name, written by Pete Dexter.

Described as a thriller, the synopsis for The Paperboy, courtesy of Amazon.com, reads: “W.W. (“World War”) James is editor of the Moat County (Florida) Tribune and the father of two boys. Ward, the elder, is a reporter for the Miami Times. Jack is a college dropout who delivers papers for his father. With his reporting partner Yardley Acheman, Ward returns to Moat County to investigate the murder of the sheriff and the subsequent trial of Hillary Van Wetter, who was imprisoned for the murder. The investigation calls Van Wetter’s guilt into question, and he is freed from death row. But at what price?

When initially reported, Lee Daniels was said to have made offers to Bradley Cooper (as the older brother Ward), Sofia Vergara (as the wife of a death-row inmate) and Alex Pettyfer (as the younger brother Jack) to star in the film.

That cast later changed to Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire and Zac Efron, with Sofia Vergara being the only actor from the original roundup still involved.

But then Maguire and Sofia dropped out; the latter was replaced by Nicole Kidman a couple of weeks ago or so - at least, Kidman was said to be "in talks."

And then, about a week ago, it was announced that John Cusack would be taking over the role that Tobey Maguire was scheduled to play.

So, the cast then looked like this: McConaughey, Efron, Kidman and Cusack. Right? :)

This morning, we learned that Brit actor David Oyelowo, who you may recall has long been attached to play Martin Luther King Jr in Lee Daniels' Selma, has joined the cast of Paperboy, in which he'll play a character named Yardley, described as "a journalist who teams with another writer (McConaughey) to investigate a murder conviction for a death row inmate (Cusack) in Florida."

An interesting note... described as a "sexual thriller," author Pete Dexter has apparently been working on an adaptation of the novel with Pedro Almodovar, for a number of years, before Daniels stepped in, although it appears Almodovar is still attached as producer.

By the way, David Oyelowo also co-stars in Ava DuVernay's second feature, Middle Of Nowhere, which recently wrapped principal photography.

So let's hope this does go into production soon, and we get to see what Daniels' next project looks like.

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12 Comments

  • qdoba | July 28, 2011 8:44 AMReply

    It's been know by people who were looking for the information who are not part of the production.

    I've been working with extras in LA for years. I can't imagine its any different anywhere else. They start booking very close to the start of filming, sometimes putting out rush calls at 5 am the morning-of if they are desperate to fill the roster.

    Twitter is completely searcheable, which is how I found the tweet I posted and some others indicating featured roles were being cast.

    http://twitter.com/#!/search-advanced

    I wouldn't expect anyone to be following every single person with relevant information.

  • tambay | July 28, 2011 7:35 AMReply

    And you assume I didn't do any research because what...? I'm comfortable with the amount of research I already do to obtain info.

    Glad that Cassian Elwes posted that info on Twitter; problem is, it's on Twitter, and unless you're following him on Twitter, you likely wouldn't have seen that. And even if you were, unless you were paying attention around the time he posted it last week, you probably would not have caught it either.

    I use Google, IMDB, I have alerts set up for films, cast, directors, I scour the trades, other film websites, and more, on the hour, which, the vast majority of the time, gives me the info I need; even if it's on Twitter or Facebook, it'll show up in one of those places.

    The fact that NONE of the trades nor any of the prominent film websites that would carry this info (like Deadline, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and even major film blogs that post everything under the sun that comes up, like SlashFilm, JoBlo, Latino Review, those on the IndieWire Network, like The Playlist) have posted it (even though they've reported on the film recently, some stating that no production date is known yet), indicates that it's not as publicly "known for awhile" as you suggest.

    And, even then, as you stated, the date can still very well be amended.

    So, if Elwes is right, we'll know with some certainty by next week.

  • qdoba | July 28, 2011 7:32 AMReply

    http://www.225alive.com/extras-casting-calls/the-paperboy-seeking-extras.html

  • qdoba | July 28, 2011 7:21 AMReply

    Mecca, I believe this movie is based on a book with those characters. I don't think anyone should be casting color for color's sake. The internet does not seem very interested that Maxwell has joined the cast, just some condescending comparisons to Lenny Kravitz. Let the man do his own thing and judge him on his own merits. The media has ignored Macy Gray joining the cast as well.

  • qdoba | July 28, 2011 7:13 AMReply

    Well since the casting blogs are so inaccurate and I'm sure a news story from an N.O. news outlet is not reliable either maybe a Twitter will work for you? Probably not.

    http://twitter.com/#!/cassianelwes

    Paperboy shoots in a week. Totally exhausted by working out what may be one of the complex deals I've ever done. Movie will b great.

    Nobody is throwing hand grenades. It's a call for blog/website writers to do their job and actually research before making up scenarios that don't exist ...as in "What in the world is going on with this project?"

    It's been known for a while now that crews would get down to the set in late July with shooting on Aug 1. Frankly it's a waste of time to expect some sort of "official" announcement because even that could be amended. There was never an official confirmation that Nicole Kidman joined the cast. She was "in talks" for weeks according to sources and then the call went out for her stand-in. So she's in. We don't need a statement from her PR people or Daniels to make it so. Maybe the issue is trusting the sources. If you don't know what to look for then you can't judge the information.

  • Mecca | July 28, 2011 6:59 AMReply

    David Oyelowo plays Yardley “a journalist who teams with another writer (McConaughey) to investigate a murder conviction for a death row inmate (Cusack) in Florida.”

    Ugh I wish these BFF/Assistant/Partner/Helper roles would just go away! Some actors deserve more! Oyelowo is one of them.

    Bradley Cooper, Alex Pettyfer & Zac Efron? Huh? I'm really tired of seeing these overrated white boys starring in film after film. I'm not saying Daniels should cast Black ONLY but we see enough white people on screen.

    The majority of films released every year are predominantly WHITE ONLY. Do we need to see more?!?! I understand that is Hollywood for ya but geezz we just can't get a break.

  • tambay | July 28, 2011 6:03 AMReply

    Yes, qdoba - it's public knowledge that they've cast peripheral roles. We've written about every single bit of casting that's been announced, which you'd know if you've been reading.

    It's not, however, public knowledge that shooting begins next week. If you, or any of your friends have a link to any officially confirmed reports that say the movie will indeed start shooting next week, you should provide them here so that the rest of us can see them.

    Now, won't that be much more constructive instead of throwing hand grenades?

    And don't use casting blogs as your source. In my experience they aren't reliable. I'm looking for an official announcement from the production company or studio backing the film, from Lee Daniels himself, or any of the film's starring actors.

  • qdoba | July 28, 2011 5:47 AMReply

    It is public knowledge that they have recently casted minor roles and they are looking for local extras and stand-ins. They are shooting starting next week.

    Google, twitter, and casting blogs are your friends. Use them.

  • tambay | July 28, 2011 4:59 AMReply

    If it's so idiotic, and, as you note, continued, implying that it's a regular, long-standing staple of the site to be idiotic in its reporting, it's utterly baffling that you continue to read what we write.

    So, who's the idiot?

    That the film starts filming on Monday is not public info. So, you must be on the inside to have that knowledge, assuming what you've said is even correct.

    As Kunle asked, Lee Daniels, is that you?

  • Huh? | July 28, 2011 4:41 AMReply

    @ Kunle Adekolo

    No. Just someone who is annoyed by the continued idiotic reporting.

  • Kunle Adekolo | July 28, 2011 3:26 AMReply

    "I don’t know what your deal is but it starts filming on Monday.

    By Huh? on July 28, 2011"


    Lee Daniels, is that you?

  • Huh? | July 28, 2011 3:06 AMReply

    I don't know what your deal is but it starts filming on Monday.

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