Berg in the mix as 'Salt' shaker


Peter Berg is in talks to hop into the director's chair for "Edwin A. Salt," a spy thriller for Columbia.

Tom Cruise is attached to star in the project, which has seen a game of helmer musical chairs play out during the past few months. Terry George was in negotiations to direct but fell out, and Michael Mann flirted with the project.

Berg met with Cruise twice in the past couple of weeks to discuss the script and is intent on making "Salt" his next project. He wanted to go with "Lone Survivor," set up at Universal, but that script needs additional work.

The studio hopes to make "Salt" in the summer, though strike and guild negotiations could factor into shooting dates.

Penned by Kurt Wimmer, the story centers on a CIA officer named Edwin A. Salt who is fingered as a Russian sleeper spy. He eludes capture by superiors who are convinced that he is out to assassinate the president and struggles to find the true traitor while attempting to reunite with his family.

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is producing.

Berg, repped by Endeavor, is in postproduction on "Hancock," starring Will Smith as a tortured superhero, which Columbia is releasing July 2.
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