Lee Daniels hasn't quite had Hollywood bowing before him in the same way that some directors do after picking up an Oscar nomination -- in his case, for "Precious." It's not that the director hasn't gotten involved in projects -- he's attached to no fewer than five, and two, the civil rights drama "Selma," and the White House-set tale "The Butler," were close to happening, with A-listers like Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington attached. But the films never quite got going, for one reason or another, and Daniels is yet to make his follow-up to the film that made his name.
But rumors circulated a few months ago that Daniels was trying to get an adaptation of the 1995 Peter Dexter novel "The Paperboy" going at Relativity, with Bradley Cooper and Alex Pettyfer involved, along with "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara. As it turns out, not everything about those reports were true, but Deadline reports from Cannes that "The Paperboy" will indeed be the director's next film, and he's managed to attract a fairly starry cast to the project.
The site suggest that star-driven chum factory Millennium/Nu Image has picked up the project, and that, along with Vergara, who's confirmed to be on board, Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire and Zac Efron will all star. Not too shabby, eh? The plot revolves around the two sons of a Florida newspaper magnate, a reporter and a college dropout, and the investigation into a possible miscarriage of justice, a death row inmate convicted of killing the local sheriff.
On the surface, it sounds like a frill-free procedural, not unlike McConaughey's last film, the surprisingly good "The Lincoln Lawyer," but the book's meant to be terrific, drawing comparison to the likes of Elmore Leonard, and, most interestingly of all, Pedro Almodovar was developing it for over a decade with the view of making it his English-language debut, which suggests that there might be more at play here than meets the eye. Daniels is certainly a step down from the Spanish legend, but we'd certainly rather he made this than a remake of "Nights Of Cabiria," as planned not so long ago. There's no word on when it'll get moving, but we imagine it'll be quite soon, as Vergara will be back on "Modern Family" duty later in the summer.