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It’s Not MLK, But David Oyelowo Teams With Lee Daniels For ‘The Paperboy’

Mike Fleming

Director Lee Daniels had long planned for David Oyelowo to play Martin Luther King Jr in Selma, until that film suffered a series of setbacks. Daniels instead just set Oyelowo to play the role of Yardley in The Paperboy. He’ll play a journalist who teams with another writer (Matthew McConaughey) to investigate a murder conviction for a death-row inmate (John Cusack) in Florida. It’s based on the Pete Dexter novel, and Millennium/Nu Image picked up the Pedro Almodovar-produced film during Cannes.

Oyelowo is about to open as the businessman whose greed inadvertently hatches an infestation of intelligent primates in Fox’s Rise of the Apes. Oyelowo, who got his start in the British spy series MI-5, also plays a role in The Help this summer. He is repped by ICM, Glenn Rigberg and UK-based Christian Hodell.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that MLK date waits for him. While I’d heard that King’s heirs put pressure on Daniels, the financing was in place with distribution from The Weinstein Company when Daniels chose The Paperboy over Selma and his other civil rights project, The Butler. Daniels also had a cast that included Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson and Robert De Niro.

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Sofia Vergara Cancels ‘The Paperboy’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Vergara, who was announced to be part of the cast in the Lee Daniels-directed drama The Paperboy, has just dropped out of the film. These independent films take forever to come together, and when the start date of the movie got pushed back a week, the schedule conflicted with her day job on Modern Family, whose third season will be getting underway by then. “Modern Family is her first priority, so once she was made aware of the change in schedule, she had no choice but to pull,” said an insider in her camp. Vergara did have time on her hiatus to star for Peter and Bobby Farrelly in The Three Stooges, and she has wrapped that role. Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Tobey Maguire star in The Paperboy, which is based on the Pete Dexter novel about a newspaper reporter who returns home to Florida to investigate the possible unlawful imprisonment of a death-row inmate. Millennium/Nu Image picked up the Pedro Almodovar-produced film during Cannes last month.

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