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The Casting Carousel For Lee Daniels' "Paperboy" Thriller Continues... Will It Be His Next?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 12, 2011 at 4:28AM

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? Precious debuted over 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.
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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? Precious debuted over 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.

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

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 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 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.

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 today, it's been announced that John Cusack will be taking over the role that Tobey Maguire was scheduled to play.

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

Unless someone else has to drop out again.

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 will this definitely be Daniels' next project? *Shrug*

This article is related to: casting, Things That Make You Go Hmm...


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