Tom Cruise may be ready to get back to work.
Cruise is looking at three pics: two from majors (Warner Bros. and Fox), and one that’s being mobilized independently.
The indie appears to be the favorite: “Lions for Lambs,” a political drama revolving around a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Scripted by Matthew Carnahan (“State of Play”), the project is shaping up with Robert Redford likely to direct as well as play a role.
Cruise is being courted to play a congressman and Meryl Streep for a role as a journalist.
Cruise is also eyeing “The Ha-Ha,” a Chuck Leavitt-scripted adaptation of a Dave King novel at WB. The actor would play a Gulf War vet rendered mute by his injuries who’s charged with the care of a 9-year-old whose mother goes AWOL.
The actor’s also been talking to helmer Spike Lee about “Selling Time,” a Fox drama about a man who sells back chunks of time in his life for a chance to relive and change the worst day of his life. Lee has met with Cruise several times and is working on a rewrite of a script by Dan McDermott.
If Cruise agrees to star in one of the pics, the project would mark the actor’s first vehicle since he and C/W partner Paula Wagner left Paramount in August to make an overhead and potential funding deal with Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, NVR chair Dwight Schar and Six Flags prexy-CEO Mark Shapiro.
There are no guarantees on any pic. In February, Cruise looked seriously at a trio of films, none of which he took.
He was courted for the James Mangold-directed “3:10 to Yuma” (which now stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale); the Andy Tennant-directed WB “Fool’s Gold,” which now stars Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson; and the Fox thriller “Two Minutes to Midnight,” which is still in development at the studio.