The last time I wrote about this project, I told myself that I wouldn’t write about it anymore, until the damn thing was actually shooting.
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? 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, based on an award-winning novel of the same name, written by Pete Dexter.
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, 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 then, about a week ago, it was announced that John Cusack would be taking over the role that Tobey Maguire was scheduled to play.
So, the cast then looked like this: McConaughey, Efron, Kidman and Cusack. Right? :)
This morning, we learned that Brit actor David Oyelowo, who you may recall has long been attached to play Martin Luther King Jr in Lee Daniels’ Selma, has joined the cast of Paperboy, in which he’ll play a character named Yardley, described as “a journalist who teams with another writer (McConaughey) to investigate a murder conviction for a death row inmate (Cusack) in Florida.”
An interesting note… described as a “sexual thriller,” author Pete 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 as producer.
By the way, David Oyelowo also co-stars in Ava DuVernay’s second feature, Middle Of Nowhere, which recently wrapped principal photography.
So let’s hope this does go into production soon, and we get to see what Daniels’ next project looks like.