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.

<a href=Lee Daniels” src=”” style=”margin: 15px; width: 300px; height: 240px; float: left;” title=”” />The 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.