Inside Move: ‘Yuma’ in the lead for Cruise’s attention

'Impossible' star eyes '3:10,' 'Midnight,' 'Gold'

Paparazzi aren’t the only ones fixated on Tom Cruise. He’s looking for a movie, and when he’s got an open slot, studios jump.

Cruise, who stars in and produces the J.J. Abrams-directed “Mission: Impossible 3” for Paramount, is eyeing several high-profile studio features. The lead horse is the new take on the 1957 Western “3:10 to Yuma,” which James Mangold will direct this summer, with Cathy Konrad producing for Columbia Pictures.

Cruise has not yet had a meeting with Mangold. Thesp became interested in the picture after Stuart Beattie, who penned the Cruise-Jamie Foxx starrer “Collateral,” turned in a rewrite of the script by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. Word is that Cruise is interested in playing the villain, who is being brought to justice by a lone lawman.

Also high on Cruise’s radar is “Two Minutes to Midnight,” a drama at Fox that Adrian Lyne is ready to direct about a divorce lawyer whose wife is kidnapped. He is ordered to find his wife by 11:58 or kill himself. Sheldon Turner wrote the script.

The other most mentioned candidate is “Fool’s Gold,” a Warner Bros. drama about a divorced couple who rekindle romance during a treasure hunt. Andy Tennant is ready to direct a script by John Claflin and Daniel Zelman.

Cruise is expected to make a decision within the next two weeks.