Conquistador Cruise may seek helm

Mel Gibson had his Scottish rebel, Kevin Costner his Civil War soldier, now it seems a Spanish conquista-dor may be the inspiration that puts Tom Cruise in the director’s chair.

Playwright-turned-screenwriter John Logan is adapting the diary of 16th Century explorer Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca for Cruise and Paula Wagner’s Paramount-based production company, as a possible vehicle for Cruise to direct and star in.

“The Untitled Conquistador Project” is based on Cabeza de Vaca’s 1527 account of his arduous and ultimately un-successful journey across Southwestern U.S. and Mexico. Logan, who wrote the play “Never the Sinner” about the Leopold and Loeb trial, also penned the spec script “Any Given Sunday” now at Warner Bros. with Oliver Stone and Dan Halsted attached to produce.

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