John Cusack Replacing Tobey Maguire In Lee Daniels' The Paperboy
When Tobey Maguire and Zac Efron were first cast together in Lee Daniels' upcoming drama The Paperboy, I assumed the strong resemblance meant they'd be playing the central pair of bothers who investigate a murder in their Florida hometown. When Maguire then dropped out thanks to conflicts in his schedule for The Great Gatsby, I wondered how they'd find someone else with those massive blue eyes to replace him (Jake Gyllenhaal, are you there?) Turns out, like some misled detective in a mystery story, I was headed the wrong direction entirely.
Variety reports that John Cusack has replaced Maguire in the film, and of course, he's not playing the brother at all, but the death row prisoner the two brothers are investigating as possibly being innocent. Though Matthew McConaughey has been attached to the film since May, he's still in negotiations for his role, along with Nicole Kidman, who would replace Sofia Vergara as a mysterious woman who writes letters to men on death row. The film will be the long-awaited follow-up from Lee Daniels after Precious, the runaway indie success that earned him an Oscar nomination and amnesty from his awful previous film Shadowboxer. I'd say that the caliber of cast flocking to Paperboy indicates there's something much stronger here, but then, Shadowboxer featured Helen Mirren and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so you really never know.
Truthfully, I'm excited to see what Daniels brings out of this, an adaptation of a fairly standard-sounding crime novel that still might have some tricks up its sleeve. Filming begins later this summer, and if they're going to be on location in Florida, god help them-- I'd even keep New York City summer weather over that swamp.
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