After Lee Daniels took "Precious" from low-budget Sundance indie all the way to a Best Picture nomination at the 2010 Oscars, getting another project off the ground should have been a piece of cake. Post-Best Director nomination, Daniels circled "Selma," a racial period drama, "The Butler," an epic biopic starring Denzel Washington and an adaptation of the gritty Broadway musical "The Scottsboro Boys." Nothing seemed to come together.
Now, Vulture reports, Daniels is honing in on a project that's a little more Hollywood, a little less prestige and a whole lot more probable of getting the go-ahead from studios.
"The Paperboy" is a thriller from novelist Peter Dexter (apologies to all who, like me, thought our favorite NES game was finally getting the big screen treatment), centering on a young slacker who gets caught up in his big brother reporter's murder case. As one might suspect, mystery unfolds.
What really makes "The Paperboy" one to watch is the possible cast Daniels has lined up, including Bradley Cooper ("The Hangover," "A-Team"), Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family") and the unstoppable, early-20s force of Alex Pettyfer ("I Am Number Four"). Pettyfer and Cooper would play the brothers, while Vergara would play the wife of a death-row inmate.
Apparently the project is moving quickly to the starting gate, with Daniels both directing and rewriting an existing adaptation of the book. While his other independent projects slowly gestate and come together, "Paperboy" sounds like the perfect exercise to keep the intriguing director working.