Cannes: Lee Daniels to Direct Steamy Thriller ‘The Paperboy’

Southern-set erotic drama will feature Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Sofia Vergara and Zac Efron

Lee Daniels', the director of the Oscar-winning "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" will direct, co-produce and co-write the erotic thriller "The Paperboy," Nu Image/Millennium Films announced on Friday at the Cannes Film Festival.

Lee DanielsThe film, which is based on the novel by Pete Dexter, will star Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Sofia Vergara and Zac Efron. Set in the deep South, it concerns a Miami reporter investigating the potentially wrongful conviction of a death row inmate; the press release announcing the project set a high bar by calling it a cross between "Chinatown" and "Body Heat."

Daniels will also produce the film with Hilary Shor, and will work on a script initially developed by Pedro Almodovar and Dexter.

CAA and Cassian Elwes represent the film for domestic sales, while Nu Image will be selling foreign rights at Cannes.