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.