CATEGORIES Movies
Here's a definite change of pace for John Cusack: He's just joined the cast of 'The Paperboy,' an indie drama in which he will play a death row inmate convicted of killing a local sheriff in Florida.

The film is being directed by Lee Daniels, his first since the award-winning 'Precious,' and stars Zac Efron with Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey in advanced negotiations for key roles, according to Variety.

The role of the condemned prisoner was originally to be taken by Tobey Maguire, but he had to drop out because of conflicts with shooting for 'The Great Gatsby.'

The movie is based on the 1995 novel by Pete Dexter, in which two brothers -- one a reporter, the other a college dropout, team up to investigate a possible miscarriage of justice surrounding the murder.

Cusack is tapping into his darker side: He's set to play Edgar Allan Poe in James McTeigue's 'The Raven,' which is scheduled to opens March 9, 2012.