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Wheel Alignments

October 25, 1987|Nikki Finke

Are Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson in a dead heat to star in race-car movies? Sources tell us that the white flag is up: Cruise is buckled into a Paramount vehicle and Gibson behind the wheel at Weintraub Entertainment.

The Weintraub project, tentatively called "Champions," has "Top Gun's" Tony Scott directing, with Indy 500 champion Danny Sullivan aboard as creative consultant. Jerry Weintraub was at Indy in 1985--the year Sullivan won--then hosted an L.A. celebration for the photogenic racer, vowing to produce a race-car pic.

"We are developing a script with Mel, that's all," said Michael Roberts, Weintraub production veep. "Nothing more can be said at this point except that he's involved in the process, awaiting a final draft."

Paramount would not confirm or deny a Cruise wheel deal. The star's rep said her client had been "approached by a lot of people (about racing pics) since he started racing" after exposure to the sport by "Color of Money" co-star Paul Newman. "I don't know of a specific (racing) project--but Tom has a ton in development."

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