By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 13, 2011 at 10:17AM
We suppose this was bound to happen. With Lee Daniels riding the waves of ups and downs in casting his next effort, "The Paperboy," he has firmed up a pretty solid line-up including John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron with Nicole Kidman circling a role. But it looks like he just has to have a singer in his movie, and like Lenny Kravitz in "Precious" (who was actually pretty good), a smoooooooth dude is coming on board.
R&B singer Maxwell is going to be bringing his dapper good looks (and maybe his soulful croon?) to "The Paperboy." A crime movie based on the best-selling novel by Pete Dexter, the 1960s-era thriller, involves Ward James, a respected journalist and his brother Jack, a college dropout, investigating the possible wrongful conviction of a death row inmate who was convicted of killing the town’s sheriff in Florida. If that isn't enough to get your attention perhaps this is: the project was best known previously as the possible English-language debut of Pedro Almodóvar, who developed the film for a decade. Even better, the script apparently credits both Daniels and Almodóvar, meaning that the latter's stamp may still be felt. The big question for us is if the shocking and depressing ending (which we won't spoil here) of the novel will remain intact in the big screen incarnation.
There's no word yet on who Maxwell will play, but he'll certainly have a solid cast around to guide him in his second big screen appearance (he made his debut a decade ago in the film "Dead Dog"). And while we weren't the biggest fans of "Precious," Daniels undoubtedly got a phenomenal performance out of Mo'Nique and also got smaller, solid turns from the aforementioned Kravitz and Mariah Carey, who was truly surprising as the tough-as-nails social worker. So we're willing to give this casting a shot.
No start date has been announced but it's expected to start rolling by the end of the summer. [Showbiz 411]