What do you do when you’re offered the chance to direct Thor 2? You agree to direct a cowboy movie. At least that’s the vibe I’m getting from this latest news, courtesy of Variety, who claim Game of Thrones director Brian Kirk is circling Paper Wings, a rodeo drama about a rootin’ tootin’ bull riding champ who falls in love with a country singer. Think 8 Seconds meets Pure Country meets Top Gun. And speaking of Top Gun, word is Maverick himself has stepped in and offered his services on the project, going so far as to select Kirk for the gig. He may even star in the film. More after the jump.
Paper Wings has apparently been in development hell for some time now. After writing the script back in 2005, screenwriter Les Bohem (an Emmy-winner for Steven Spielberg’s Taken) met with Marty Bowen (Twilight) at the 2005 Nashville Screenwriters Conference and formulated the idea. The project was then shipped to New Line Cinema in 2006 where it underwent development with Charles Stone III (Drumline) attached to direct.
Evidently the project fell through, and vanished, but then surfaced again last year when Tom Cruise and fellow Scientologist chums Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and others met for some square dancing and a group reading of Bohem’s script at the Saddle Ranch Chop House on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Strip (which, by the way, houses its own mechanical bull). The location was probably chosen to set the mood. Or something. At that time Slashfilm reported Reese Witherspoon would star, and that Smith’s Pursuit of Happyness director, Gabriele Muccino, would direct. But that was the last anyone heard of the project … until now. (Cue ominous country music.)
While no actors have officially signed on to Paper Wings, with Tom Cruise dosido-ing the project as a potential starring vehicle, Overbrook Entertainment and Temple Hill Entertainment are obviously pushing to saddle up the drama and get it into the ring as soon as possible.
Personally, I’m not sure if I want to see Tom Cruise riding the bull … but I am intrigued at Overbrook/Temple Entertainment’s decision to pursue Kirk. Obviously the studios (and Cruise) see something in the man, hence Disney/Marvel’s gamble to let him tackle Thor 2. Maybe he’ll even direct Top Gun 2. Or better yet, Urban Cowboy 2: The Return of Wes. Either way, it’d be nice if Paper Wings came out before Thor, at least so we could get a handle on his directing style (no, TV doesn’t count).
Thor 2 is set for a July 26, 2013 release. Tom Cruise can next be seen in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which comes out December 21.