By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 20, 2011 at 4:05AM
Hollywood is littered with scripts or projects mostly known for not being made or spending years in development. "A Confederacy of Dunces," "Pinkville," "Shantaram" -- these are just a few projects that have knocked around for years in fits and starts without getting made. And while there is fresh movement on the long-gestating "Paper Wings," this is one that is still a long way off.
First, the good news. Brian Kirk -- the mostly TV director behind episodes of “Game of Thrones," “Boardwalk Empire," “Luther" and “The Tudors” among others and the recently hired helmer for "Thor 2" -- has been personally selected by Tom Cruise to take on "Paper Wings." Written by Leslie Bohem ("Dante's Peak," "The Alamo"), the story follows a rodeo champ who falls for an aspiring country singer, and it hasn't lacked in attracting huge talent. The project is set up at Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment and has long been eyed as a project to pair him up with this best bud Tom Cruise (who would take on the lead role). Last summer
a Scientology convention a table read brought out a gaggle of stars including Cruise, Smith, Anna Kendrick, Chad Michael Murray, Eric Dane, Tate Donovan, Tom Skerritt, Tom Arnold, Johnny Galecki and Jenna Elfman, and while that never developed into anything, it appears there is still work to be done as the "Mission: Impossible" star will work with Kirk on the script.
Kirk takes over from Gabriele Muccino ("The Pursuit of Happyness," "Seven Pounds") who was initially set to direct and realistically speaking, the earliest we would see this movie is probably 2014. Cruise is shooting "One Shot" this fall before heading into "Oblivion" in 2012, while Kirk will be busy getting Thor's hammer ready for a July 26, 2013 release date. And who's to say that Cruise will even wind up doing the project? The actor (like most A-list stars) tends to have a few irons in the fire at any one time and his interest in this could move elsewhere. That said, the hire of Kirk at least shows he's still hot on the project at least for now, and if the helmer to can develop it into a Cruise-worthy vehicle, we could see the actor making the transition from his blockbuster comeback roles he's been doing of late into a drama that will potentially help land him his fourth Oscar nomination. [Variety]