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Lee Daniels Packages Next Project - Adaptation Of Sexual Thriller "The Paperboy"

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 13, 2011 5:38 AM
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He’s certainly been stacking up the projects over the last couple of years, since Precious; but when is Lee Daniels going to actually, finally get the chance to make one of them? Precious debuted 2 years ago, at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. 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, which we first announced in February, but wasn't entirely a done deal at the time.

Well, now it seems to be, with a cast already attached and ready to go too.

The Paperboy an adaptation of an award-winning novel of the same name, written by Pete Dexter.

I’ve never read it. Have any of you? I’m always interested in a good thriller, so I might check it out.

Pete Dexter is certainly no stranger to Hollywood, as some of his other novels have been adapted, like HBO’s Deadwood, and he also wrote the screenplays for films like Mullholland Falls and Michael.

Described as a thriller, the synopsis for The Paperboy, courtesy of, 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 in February, 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.

THR reported earlier today that Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire and Zac Efron are now attached instead, though I'm not sure in what roles; Sofia Vergara is the only actor from the original roundup still involved.

An interesting note... described as a "sexual thriller," author 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 in some way, likely as producer.

So might this be Daniels' next project? *Shrug*

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More: FYI, casting

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  • Neziah | May 15, 2011 7:33 AMReply

    It's about time.

  • Tamara | May 13, 2011 9:06 AMReply

    Hmmm. Interesting.

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