John Cusack has signed on to star in Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels’ (Precious) adaptation of the 1995 Pete Dexter novel, The Paperboy. Cusack replaces Tobey Maguire who was forced to drop from the pic as a result of scheduling conflicts with The Great Gatsby. Zac Efron also stars in The Paperboy with both Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey in “advanced negotiations” to join the project as well.
Dexter’s novel is set in Florida and centers on a pair of brothers who team-up to investigate the potential wrongful conviction of a death-row inmate. Per Variety, Cusack will play the prisoner in question. The thesp can next be seen in a pair of thrillers The Factory and The Raven which hit theaters on December 19th, 2011 and March 9th, 2012 respectively. For more on The Paperboy, hit the jump to check out a synopsis for Dexter’s novel.
Here’s a synopsis for Pete Dexter’s The Paperboy [from Amazon]:
Moat County, Fla., is located where the St. John’s River flows north-a geographical rarity and, in literature, a signal that we’ve entered the strange and violent world of National Book Award-winner Dexter (Paris Trout). Narrator Jack James is the son of the Moat County Tribune’s editor and publisher. While Jack’s older brother, Ward, reports for the Miami Times, Jack has settled for a job delivering papers for the Tribune. But when Ward and his partner, evil dandy Yardley Acheman, come to Moat County to investigate the four-year-old murder of the local sheriff, Jack assists them in the inquiry. After a vicious beating by two sailors lands Ward in the intensive care unit, Yardley finishes the story without Ward and Jack, fabricating evidence to do so. Accompanying his traumatized brother Ward back to Miami, Jack takes a job as a copyboy at the Times. It isn’t long, however, before Yardley’s wrongdoing comes to light, generating more trouble for the Jameses.