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When we first wrote about Paper Wings in those halcyon days of March 2010, the headline was irresistible: "Reese Witherspoon and Tom Cruise will fall in love at the rodeo." The romance, about a country singer and a rodeo champ who fall for each other, seemed like a perfect career boost for both actors, who at the time hadn't had big box office hits in several years. We didn't hear much about Paper Wings after that, but today Variety reports that Game of Thrones and likely Thor 2 director Brian Kirk has gotten the directing job. Is it finally time for Witherspoon and Cruise to strap on their cowboy boots?

Well, maybe not. Though Kirk is in active negotiations to director, there's no cast officially attached, even with Cruise planning to develop the script with Kirk after helping pick the director himself. He'll probably want to wait to see how Mission Impossible-- Ghost Protocol treats him this winter before moving on to this, though with the script still in development he'll have plenty of time to get there. Witherspoon, on the other hand, probably has nothing to lose here-- her spring romance Water for Elephants made a healthy $115 worldwide, so it's clear people still want to see her in romantic roles. Her next big box office test will be This Means War, an action comedy co-starring Tom Hardy and Chris Pine that comes to theaters next February. From there I could easily see her being ready to go more in the direction of her Oscar-winning role as June Carter Cash and put on the country music twang again.

With Thor 2 already set for a July 26, 2013 release, though, Kirk likely won't have time to work on Paper Wings until after that one. Take this as a sign of life but not a guarantee of anything.