By Edward Davis | The Playlist February 20, 2011 at 6:01AM
Alex Pettyfer Also Reportedly Offered Role
If director Lee Daniels can't choose a directorial follow-up to his Sundance indie hit, "Precious," it's not for lack of trying. The filmmaker has myriad options including the Civil Right-era drama "Selma" (which might be shelved because no studio cares about civil rights films anymore) and "The Butler" starring Denzel Washington as Eugene Allen an African-American butler that served the White House for 34 years and 8 presidents. The problem is none of those films are in eye-popping 3D, feature super heroes in tight pants and/or aren't part nine of some kid magician series, so no one's really interested in funding them. Three other gestating projects, a musical ("The Scottsboro Boys"), a remake of Fellini’s "Nights of Cabiria," and a literary adaptation that takes place during the 1920s cigar industry ("Anna In the Tropics"), all have as much chance of being made as "Calculus Math Textbook: The Movie."
Ok, maybe 3D super hero tentpole is not in his wheelhouse, but how about an honest to goodness thriller? Studios like those. Well, according to Vulture, it's a definite possibility -- which of course is not a defining yes -- that Bradley Cooper, "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara and "I Am Number Four"/entitled Hollywood brat Alex Pettyfer may star in Daniels' "The Paperboy," a thriller written by author Peter Dexter ("Paris Trout," "Brotherly Love," "Spooner")?
However, much like Vulture's recent spy reports (Guy Ritchie is not directing "Xerxes," "The Wolf Of Wall Street" is not shooting this summer), not everything is completely up to snuff. Two separate insiders very close to this project tell us some important details in that report are missing. For one, both sources tell us that this report is premature. How premature? Well, for one Relativity -- the studio where it's said to be set up -- doesn't own the project and hasn't even optioned the novel yet. Whether it will happen with that studio at all remains to be seen. So what this appears to be, is an idea that Daniels is pitching around town. Whether actors have actually met anyone or are just wishlist scenarios are unclear.
Let's not be too negative. What's it about? According to Vulture, it centers on "the slacker son of backwater Florida newspaper editor and publisher, who gets pulled into his older, big-city reporter brother’s investigation of a rural sheriff's murder, and whether the death-row inmate convicted of it was truly responsible. Being a Pete Dexter novel, things don’t go smoothly." Hey, fine by us. We just want the guy to make another movie, even if most of us weren't really all that into the rather overt and obvious direction of "Precious."