Last month, Nicole Kidman came in as a replacement for Sofia Vergara on The Paperboy, after Vergara and Tobey Maguire dropped out of the project due to scheduling issues. Now, a new actor has stepped up to fill Maguire’s role: John Cusack. Based on a 1955 novel by Pete Doctor, The Paperboy follows a reporter and his brother as they investigate a murder that put the suspect on death row. Cusack will play the part of the prisoner. Kidman, as previously reported, will be a woman who writes letters to inmates on death row.

The Paperboy marks Lee Daniels‘ follow-up to 2009′s Precious, which was nominated for six Academy Awards. The film will also star Zac Efron; Matthew McConaughey is currently in advanced negotiations. [Variety]

After the jump, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould, Chris Messina, and Deborah Ann Woll sign up for the Little Miss Sunshine team’s new project.

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Most audiences probably wouldn’t recognize Josh Pence from his big role in The Social Network — after all, his face was completely edited out of the film — but it looks like the part’s paid off for Pence all the same. Pence has just joined the cast of The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin‘s upcoming HBO pilot More As This Story Develops, along with Broadway stars John Gallagher Jr. and Thomas Sadoski. Scott Rudin, who also produced The Social Network, is executive producing with Sorkin.

More As This Story Develops revolves around a cable news anchor named Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) and his executive producer Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) as they attempt to get their show back on track after a massive staff shake-up. Gallagher will play the part of Jim, who develops a crush on the show’s associate producer Maggie (Alison Pill), while Pence will play Maggie’s boyfriend and the show’s senior producer Rob. Sadoski will be an executive producer who left Will’s series to work for Will’s former protege. Olivia Munn and Sam Waterston are also set to star. [Deadline]

After the jump, Annette Bening and Robert De Niro consider new projects with the Little Miss Sunshine team and David O. Russell, respectively.

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I have to confess I’ve been only mildly curious about Cowboys & Aliens, Jon Favreau‘s adaptation of Scott Mitchell Rosenberg‘s sci-fi Western comic. Though I like the concept in theory, and though I’m a fan of Favreau as well as stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde, something about the earlier trailers haven’t quite done it for me.

That’s changing now, though. This new “extended sneak peek,” which aired at the Spike TV Guys Choice Awards on Friday, has definitely pushed Cowboys & Aliens up a few places on my “most-anticipated summer movies” list. It’s more action-heavy than the earlier full-length trailer, and in my opinion looks way more exciting. Check it out after the jump.

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As we’ve said in several pieces in the past, Rian Johnson‘s third film Looper (which follows Brick and The Brothers Bloom) is one of our most anticipated pictures in the next year or so. FilmDistrict and Tri-Star are releasing the film, and we’d hoped to see it sometime early next year. Sadly, we’re going to have to wait a bit longer than that. Tri-Star has set a date for the film: September 28, 2012. Read More »

Focus Features has send out a press release announcing the start of production on the Paul Weitz adaptation of Nick Flynn‘s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. The film is working without a title for now, but as previously reported it does feature Paul Dano as Nick Flynn, and Robert De Niro as his homeless father, whom Flynn encounters while working at a shelter in Boston.

There is also the announcement that Lili Taylor and Dale Dickey (so scary in Winter’s Bone, and sadly sidelined in the awards season battle of badass moms) have joined the cast. Read More »

Paul Weitz is scripting and directing an adaptation of the Nick Flynn memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City and he has a hell of a cast assembled: Paul Dano plays Nick Flynn, who runs into his down and out father (Robert De Niro) while working at a Boston homeless shelter. Olivia Thirlby plays the romantic interest who gets Flynn the job at the shelter, and Julianne Moore is now onboard as well.

The info comes from a casting call looking for a stand-in for Julianne Moore, so we don’t have any official info on her role at this point, but something is likely to be out soon as the film starts shooting next week in New York City. (Edit: Deadline confirms the casting, but only says she has a ‘small role.’) The film is currently working under the shortened title Another Night in Suck City, but even that seems likely to change. [OnLocationVacations]

After the break, Catherine Zeta-Jones steps into the gambling film Lay the Favorite, and Sienna Miller is Just Like a Woman. Read More »

Training Day and Harsh Times writer David Ayer is putting together his next film: a cop drama called End of Watch that he’ll write and direct. Jake Gyllenhaal is now in negotiations to star. Variety says the film is “a gritty drama that follows the friendship between longtime partners.” David Ayer is also tapped to write the remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger action film Commando, but we haven’t heard much about the progress of that film in some time.

After the break, Olivia Thirlby joins the long-gestating memoir adaptation Another Night in Suck City and Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino find Trade of Innocents. Read More »

“We’re not lost, we’re just finding our way.”

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Kelly Reichardt‘s Oregon Trail western Meek’s Cutoff, which premiered at Venice last year and has gone on to do well at other festivals. Michelle Williams stars as one member of a multi-family wagon train that is led into the wilderness by co-called frontier expert Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood). Check out the trailer for the film after the break. Read More »

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