To say the least, Lee Daniels is a curious figure in the film industry. The one-time nurse chased his Hollywood ambitions by becoming a casting director, then a manager, before breaking through as a producer in 2001 with the controversial drama Monster's Ball, which famously earned Halle Berry the Oscar for Best Actress. From there, Daniels championed another troubling drama, The Woodsman, which starred Kevin Bacon as a convicted child molester attempting to start fresh after a lengthy prison stay. Spurred on by the film's critical success, Daniels tried his hand at directing Shadowboxer, an incestuous assassin-centered thriller that was widely panned by critics.

Undeterred, Daniels soldiered on to create his next passion project, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. The gut-wrenching coming-of-age story of an abuses urban teen overcoming her circumstances proved an uncanny comeback for Daniels, who won accolades and Oscar nods along the way. And now, all of this has set the stage for his follow-up The Paperboy which will make its world premiere at Cannes later this month.

Check out the clip below for a glimpse of what Daniels has in store with his latest gritty indie:

Based on the 1955 crime novel by Pete Dexter, The Paperboy centers on two brothers who work for the Florida newspaper The Moat County Tribune on very different levels. Both sons of the paper's editor/publisher, Ward James (Matthew McConaughey) is an ambitious journalist who aims to follow in his father's footsteps, while Jack James (Zac Efron) is happy enough being a paperboy. However, when Ward and his writing partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) are drawn into a strange murder case brought against low-level looter Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), Jack offers to assist in the investigation. Nicole Kidman co-stars as the seductive and besotted would-be bride of Van Wetter, who she insists is an innocent man.

The Paperboy has not yet secured a U.S. release date.

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