“Paperboy” Poster the High-Water Mark of Zac Efron's Film Career

"The Paperboy" has dropped a poster on the Internet's doorstep, and it looks fantastic.

The film, based on the novel by Pete Dexter (whose book "Deadwood" inspired the brilliant HBO series), is director Lee Daniels' follow-up to his breakout feature, "Precious." Here's the official synopsis (via The Film Stage):

A directionless young man helps his reporter brother investigate the possible wrongful conviction of a man on death row, and in the process, falls for the woman whom the convict has been romancing through prison correspondence.

The film stars Zac Efron, whose post-"High School Musical" transition has been a bumpy ride, as the "directionless young man"; Matthew McConaughey, who appears to be finally taking his career seriously again, as "the reporter brother"; John Cusack, whose a decade removed from his last great film ("Hot Tub Time Machine" doesn't count), as the "man on death row," and Nicole Kidman, in full-on "To Die For" mode, as "the woman."

We love the washed out colors, Kidman's sultry man-eater look, Cusack's menacing gaze, McConaughey's disappointed akimbo stance and Efron's furrowed brow and 1,000-yard stare set the tone perfectly.

Everyone from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly loved the book, and Pedro Almodovar tried for a decade or so to get a film version made, so the source material is clearly strong, at least three of the four principals are capable of doing great work, Lee Daniels has a hot hand, and whoever did this poster nailed it. "The Paperboy" should open sometime in 2012--we're guessing the trailer will be here tomorrow.

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