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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.


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

Comments () | Archives (16)

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I do not see Tom Cruise in this movie. From what I've heard and seen about his work, it is not a good fit.

But he resembles a jockey....

I don't think this story has much credibility with Cruise as the leading man. If he were pursuing Heath ledger or someone from muscle beach THEN it would make for a believable plot.

Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment should instead hire Will Smith for the part. He's a much better actor than Cruise, and could pull this off. The movie-going audience LIKES Will Smith.

i will tom in anything

ITom Cruise's picture in my head is when he was jumping up and down on Oprah's couch.

There aren't a lot of tall men in Rodeo, especially bronc and bull riders. Cruise fits right in - the country can use more WESTERN venue movies, instead of message movie's about bad BUSH or the war, or greed on Wall Street.

The west, the rodeo offers us all a chance to enjoy ourselves, especially if it has a story, come on, can't you folks write anymore?

I could play a COWBOY.

Cruise was an extra that was blown away in "Young Guns". Wasn't credited but was in it and he played a cowboy.

Tom Cruise probably can't get a decent project without the help of scientology apologist friends like Will Smith.

Don't do it Reese, you don't need this on your stellar resume.

"Cruise was an extra that was blown away in "Young Guns". Wasn't credited but was in it and he played a cowboy."

Well then, that settles it. This should be a blockbuster, for sure. I mean, you know, "Young Guns."

My opinions differs from the others. I've seen a couple of Reese Witherspoon's recent performances very carefully for without any reasons. It was amazing & pleasant experiences to see her performances & in her original way of delivering methods to captures the audience's hearts from screens. If you knew what the directors wanted her to act she can digest, manage & even makes better performances for the films to be better as natural as her second insticts or intuitions. when I've seen something like that moments I must express "Oh...Gosh... She is somethingeles indeed. Yes, She is truly talented"

A Rodeo Cowboy movie from Hollywood. Awesome. do us one favor...hire someone who knows how they dress, talk, and act..you might be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and use it.
there are Hollywood cowboys,(the least authentic) Nashville cowboys, wannabe cowboys, bent hat cowboys, redneck cowboys, all of which we laught out loud at......none of 'em have a clue what or who a cowboy was, is or represents.
it is a real and authentic lifstyle we are proud of. You think were hoaky because you have never met a real cowboy, only the above.
they are working ranchers, Buckaroos from Southern Idaho and Nevada, and rodeo cowboys, not just rough stock riders, team ropers make up the vast majority of the latter.
you can tell a real cowboy by their boots, the crease of their hats, and their buckles...ALL of which have been earned. yes we can tell by looking from a mile away. and we laugh too.

WHAT are you doing TOM CRUISE??? I suggest you do some research on RODEO's cruelty toward animals. For that matter anything like it that has maimed, killed & before that TORTURE of animals.
What they do on ranches everyday...has to be done this (RODEO) does NOT!! Why would you put your name on this cruelty? Rodeo is loosing audiences every year..the more people learn & are SICK of watching!
If you want to do ANYTHING for horses....get on the the 'wild horses being traumatized by the BLM' so that when your daughter grows up she can not just read about the wild horses, she might actually be able to drive out there & see them in their natural area, living & thriving.
Do NOT be apart of this movie...there is WAY TOO much cruelty toward animals out there, from fighting dogs,cocks & what OUR horses are going thru because of slaughter. GET educated before you take part. HEAR it from both sides!!

Adding to my previous comment: Tom Cruise there are several videos taken of some major rodeos. The animals that have had broken legs, necks, etc. Of course you wont get those from the Pro Rodeo Association. Its from people who continue to video...take the video behind the chutes. The association will NOT tell you how many are lost, why? - because they know this disgusting event IS killing animals.
As for those 'BLM roundups' - oh my, there is several of experts who care deeply for these horses. Just yesterday a beautiful stallion was killed, chased by a helicopter over his & his families head as they are pushed into a trap fence...he dropped trying to keep his family together. Like I say, there is TONS of video & some wonderful caring people YOU would learn sooooo much from.


Lana, please do the following:
do a bit of remedial grammar/spelling work - "loosing"? ha.
check up on the treatment of rodeo stock - quite well-cared for animals.
join PETA and USHS - wacko organizations for naive urbanites who really do not care about animals


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