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Could Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon be shining their cowboy boots?

March 24, 2010 | 12:56 pm

Exclusive:  Could Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon be saddling up for a ride together?

Word in the development community has the A-listers eying the lead roles in "Paper Wings," a love story set in the world of rodeo that's being developed at Sony. Cruise would take the role of a rodeo champ who falls for an up-and-coming country singer, played by Witherspoon.

Cruise

The actress has taken several rides into country-and-western territory, of course, with her Oscar-winning turn as June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line" and, most recently, signing on for Sony's "The Pioneer Woman," the story of a woman who falls in love with a cowboy while on a cross-country road trip and winds up living on an Oklahoma ranch. Cruise, as far as we know, has never played a cowboy.

The project has been around for some time -- it was set up at New Line before it came to Sony -- but the Cruise and Witherspoon interest could turn it into an arm jerker (yes, we had to look that one up).

Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment is producing the project, which has led producers to talk to Gabriele Muccino  about directing; the Italian film maker and Smith favorite also directed Overbrook's underrated drama "Seven Pounds" and Oscar nominee "The Pursuit of Happyness." Several other directors are also in the mix.

Rodeo-set stories haven't exactly been hugely popular in Hollywood -- one of the most well-known is 1994's "8 Seconds," which starred Luke Perry and Stephen Baldwin, which tells you something. But with "Crazy Heart's" breakout success, unlikely love stories set in the country-and-western world now seem to be in vogue. Or are, um, chasing the cans.

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Tom Cruise. Credit: Alberto Rodriguez / Getty Images

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