Tom Cruise

Jerome Ware/ZUMA Press

Tom Cruise is striking while the Iron Man—and Batman—is hot, and eyeing a comic book adaptation to call his own.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the box-office superstar has teamed up with Spider-Man director extraordinaire Sam Raimi to develop DC Comics' Sleeper at Warner Bros., with Cruise attached to star in the would-be flick.

The comic book—a spinoff of a spinoff—is not nearly as steeped in tradition and lore as its box-office predecessors, having run from 2003-05.

It would, however, see Cruise take on a role that's not so far from his usual onscreen persona (balding, nearly unidentifiable film moguls notwithstanding).

Sleeper centers on covert operative who becomes fused with an alien artifact that not only makes him become impervious to pain, but allows him to pass the ability on to others.

Somewhat complicating matters: He falls for evil henchwoman Miss Misery while on assignment.

It's not guaranteed that Cruise will star in the flick, and no writer or director has come aboard the project, but that's not stopping Warner Bros. from licking its chops at the possibility of developing the film into a franchise.

In other big, more definite casting news:

  • Go-to neurotic funnyman Richard Kind and Tony-nominated Michael Stuhlbarg have hit the casting jackpot, signing on to star as brothers in the next characteristically black Coen brothers comedy, A Serious Man. According to Variety, the film, set in 1967, centers on a Midwestern professor whose wife leaves him and whose socially inept brother refuses to move out of his house. Shooting kicks off in Minneapolis next month.
  • Angela Bassett is getting some onscreen loving from her offscreen husband, with her real-life better half Courtney B. Vance signing on for a multi-episode guest star stint as Russell Banfield, the partner of Bassett's Cate Banfield on the upcoming 15th and final season of ER. The casting coup marks the couple's first time ever acting together.
  • Superman emeritus Dean Cain, along with The Cable Guy's Conrad Janis and 7th Heaven's Maximillian Roeg have been cast in Maneater, per the Hollywood Reporter, a horror thriller about a former FBI profiler and small-town sheriff who team up to solve murders seemingly based on Native American legends.
  • Paul Hogan is having a g'day, mate. The erstwhile Crocodile Dundee is set to star in Charlie & Boots, per Variety, following a father and son who travel across Australia to fulfill a lifelong ambition to fish off the nation's northern tip.
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