John Cusack has joined the indie drama The Paperboy, from writer-director Lee Daniels, which marks the helmer's follow-up to Precious.

The ensemble project also stars Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey.

John Cusack will replace Tobey Maguire, who had to drop out of the project due to scheduling conflicts with The Great Gatsby.

Based on the 1995 novel by Peter Dexter, the Florida-set period pic finds two brothers, a reporter and a college dropout, teaming up to investigate a possible miscarriage of justice surrounding a death row inmate convicted of killing the local sheriff.

John Cusack will play the condemned prisoner, while Nicole Kidman will play a woman with a dark side who writes letters to men on death row.