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'Precious' director Lee Daniels will direct thriller 'Paperboy'

Lee Daniels will direct, produce and co-write the sexual thriller The Paperboy, starring Matthew McConaughey ( The Lincoln Lawyer), Tobey Maguire ( Batman), Sofia Vergara ( Modern Family) and Zac Efron ( High School Musical).

The film, based on the novel by Pete Dexter, is set in the US South and follows a Miami reporter investigating the potentially wrongful conviction of a death row inmate.

Announced at Cannes, the project is referred to as a cross between Roman Polanski's Chinatown and Body Heat starring Kathleen Turner.

Originally the script was developed by Pedro Almodovar and the author before Daniels took over. He will also produce.

Efron is set to co-star in The Lucky One, an upcoming war drama, while Maguire will be playing the narrator Nick Carraway in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, and Vergara has signed on to a big screen remake of the comedy The Three Stooges by the Farrelly Brothers.