This isn't any high school musical. Zac Efron leads the charge in the trailer for Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy" and he continues to prove that he's come very far from his heartthrob days in Disney's hit film series. Efron has made a push to be taken seriously as an actor over the past few years, and it looks like "The Paperboy" might be the movie to do the job for him.
In the latest from the "Precious" director, Efron plays the directionless younger brother of a reporter (Matthew McConaughey) who assists the investigation of a man on death row (John Cusack) who potentially was wrongfully convicted. Helping them is a woman who likes to write letters to men sentenced to die (Nicole Kidman). She claims she is in love with Cusack's character but ends up romancing Efron as well. If the trailer is anything to gauge the film by, it looks like events quickly spin out of control.
In addition to Efron, the rest of the cast looks like it's at the top of its game (Macy Gray and David Oyelowo also star). We've seen Cusack transform for his roles before, but it's a treat to see Kidman really disappear into her character. She's almost unrecognizable from the woman we've become used to seeing in films like "The Others," "The Golden Compass" and even "Australia," so we're glad to see what she's pushed herself in this, 2010's "Rabbit Hole" and the upcoming TV movie "Hemingway & Gellhorn."
"The Paperboy" is opening in limited release on October 5. Though it might not have the same dramatic impact "Precious" did in 2009, it still seems like this flick could have a shot at an Oscar run. We also now know why Kidman and Cusack were so quick to jump on board Daniels' next ambitious feature, "The Butler."
What did you think of the first trailer for "The Paperboy"? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!