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Cruise may play bad guy in Michael Mann thriller. The ''Heat'' director wants to cast him in his first true villain role

Tom Cruise | MANN'S MAN Cruise may tap into his dark side for ''Collateral''
Image credit: Tom Cruise: Simon Baker/Getty Images
MANN'S MAN Cruise may tap into his dark side for ''Collateral''

Tom Cruise has played unlikable jerks before (notably, the pony-tailed sex guru in ''Magnolia,'') but he's never played someone evil. Until now. Variety reports that the usually heroic Cruise is in talks to star as a villain for ''Heat'' director Michael Mann in the DreamWorks crime thriller ''Collateral.''

The film is one of several ideas Mann has been kicking around in his search for a follow-up to 2001's ''Ali,'' and he and Cruise have long wanted to work together, Variety reports. ''Collateral'' would star Cruise as a hitman who pursues his quarry one night in Los Angeles in a novel way: He forces a cab driver at gunpoint to tail the intended victim. Let's hope he remembers to ask the driver for a receipt.

Originally posted Jun 03, 2003