The paper said Columbia Pictures has begun the search for another A-list actress to play Sadie -- an aide to a populist Southern politician whose rise and fall was told in Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1946 book. Sean Penn will play the politician, Willy Stark -- a role that earned Broderick Crawford a Best Actor Oscar in 1949.
The cast also includes Jude Law and Kate Winslet.
Steven Zaillian ("Schindler's List") is directing from his own screenplay. Longtime Democratic Party consultant James Carville is an executive producer on the project.