Phillip Noyce is in talks to direct Edwin A. Salt, the Kurt Wimmer-scripted drama that is being developed by Columbia Pictures as a star vehicle for Tom Cruise.

According to Variety, the drama casts Cruise as a CIA officer who's accused by a defector of being a Russian sleeper spy. He must elude capture long enough to clear his name.

Though he hasn't firmly committed, Cruise has stayed with Edwin A. Salt as Wimmer wrote drafts for directors Terry George and then Peter Berg before each ankled.

Columbia sources said Edwin A. Salt still doesn't have a firm start date.