By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 27, 2011 at 7:44AM
Talk about trading up. No offense to Sofia Vergara, but sorry, she's just not in the same league as Nicole Kidman and if the producers have their way, Lee Daniels' gestating "The Paperboy" may be getting a major upgrade.
THR reveals that Oscar winner Kidman is in talks to step in for the "Modern Family" star who left the movie last week citing scheduling issues with her ABC series gig. But it's not all sunshine for the film as Tobey Maguire has also quietly left the project; Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron are still attached to star for now. "The Paperboy" is an adaptation of the 1995 Peter Dexter novel that 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 surrounding a death row inmate convicted of killing the local sheriff. Kidman would play "a woman with a dark side who writes letters to men on death row. She brings the case to the attention of the reporter, developing a relationship with him."
It has now been two full years since Lee Daniels premiered “Precious” at Sundance where it quickly became the film sensation of 2009 and went on to win two Oscars, and he's had a tough time getting a project mounted. He had a stellar cast -- Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, David Oyelowo, Ray Winstone, Robert De Niro and Cedric The Entertainer -- in place last year for the civil rights drama "Selma," but ultimately financing and objections from the Martin Luther King Jr. estate killed the movie. He's been attached to numerous films since but this one seems to be taking the pole position. It looks like Daniels and his producers are again trying to patch up a production that is springing a few leaks, but we'd wager that if Kidman is on board, any problems with financing or casting will quickly be resolved.