Suck, it Captain America. You may have had a villain modeled after German filmmaking legend Werner Herzog, but the upcoming Tom Cruise vehicle One Shot will have the real deal. As reported by Variety, Herzog will be taking on his first major acting role (Harmony Korine movies not major enough, I guess) to play The Zec, an "ageless and shadowy" ex-prisoner of war who leads a conspiracy involving a military sniper accused of multiple murders. The film, which will be written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie and also co-star Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike and Richard Jenkins, is based on the Jack Reacher novel of the same name by Lee Child.
Because One Shot is a Paramount production, and so is Captain America, I have to think someone over there is into the Herzog. Maybe they should also just go ahead and finance and distribute his next film, fiction or nonfiction? Speaking of which, I don't think Dmitry Vayukov's Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, which Herzog has condensed and narrates has a U.S. distributor (see it at DOC NYC fest next month). Wink, wink.
According to the blogosphere and Twittersphere, this is either the best news of the day, week, month, year or ever. See what people are saying below:
Best. Casting. Ever. [...] Holy. Fucking. Shit. [...] You win Hollywood. [...] Cruise + Herzog = WIN. [...] this is the best news we’re going to hear all day. - Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist
This is some of the best casting news in just about forever. - Matt Goldberg, Collider
Likeliest the best (and oddest) bit of casting news to break this year - Nigel M. Smith, indieWIRE
A shocking bit of inspired casting - Jeff Leins, News in Film
Mind-blowing, near-unexplainable but still awesome casting news - Jen Yamato, Movieline
If we had WTF or crazy categories, that's where I'd be filing this! - Alex Billington, First Showing
With a voice and face like his, we say it’s about time. - Anne Thompson, Thompson on Hollywood
Oh happy day! [...] This will be Herzog's biggest acting role to date, and if he is a quarter as fearsome as he was in Burden of Dreams every other villain of next year better watch the hell out. - Willa Paskin, Vulture
Hell, in regular interviews it’s hard to not get a Bond villain-vibe from Herzog. He’s just got that certain something that I’m surprised people haven’t already tried to get up on that silver screen in a major role of some kind. In another time he would have been the perfect Hans Gruber. Who knows, maybe that sort of timeless, unforgettable onscreen persona awaits Herzog in One Shot. - TheSubstream.com
Um, yes indeed. I will watch that, and it doesn't even matter to me that Herzog barely has any acting experience [...] the best casting decision you'll probably hear about this week. - Katey Rich, Cinema Blend
Well this has got to be one of the most unexpected and exciting pieces of movie news I’ve heard so far this year. [...] for better or worse, pop culture has now embraced him. I just worry that casting him as a villain will be a little too over-the-top and comedic, but at the very least, it certainly has me interested in a movie I was previously not particularly excited about. - Sean Dwyer, Film Junk
@Phil_on_Film: Cruise vs. Herzog! I always dreamed this day would come. It's just a shame Klaus Kinski isn't around to co-star.
@CriterionCorner: ATTENTION UNIVERSE: Werner Herzog is playing the villain in a Tom Cruise movie. Try to remain calm.
@erincmccarthy: just got this email: "Werner Herzog to play villain in Tom Cruise pic." this is like all my dreams coming true. [...] "Herzog will play The Zec, an ex-prisoner of war." yes. YES.
@SilverEmulsion: How do you get me to see a new Tom Cruise movie? Cast Werner Herzog as the villain. I'm sold.
@punkyscudmonkey: This could be the best thing in the history of the world
@JoeCunningham14: Wow. That's pretty amazing!" So we can rejoice! Hurray for Herzog.
@rwkozlowski: I, for one, will be cheering for Herzog.
@EegahChaka: Werner Herzog vs Tom Cruise. Sometimes I think the universe loves me. #thisisoneofthosetimes
@paulbullock: This is why I love Herzog - barmy and unpredictable. It could be one of the greatest casting coups in a long time
@JonSullivan_: Movie buffs/Press: OMG WERNER HERZOG!!!! Everyone else: who?
@robsaucedo2500: Werner Herzog is playing a bad guy in a Tom Cruise action film? I guess somebody left CAPTAIN AMERICA with a light bulb above their head.
@superlau77: Today's best news: "Werner Herzog Will Play the Villain in Tom Cruise’s New Movie". Will it rival the Werner Herzog/Klaus Kinski fiendship?
@notjustmovies: I cannot WAIT for Werner Herzog to punch Tom Cruise screaming "WHERE ARE YOU EVEREST?"
@sharksarecool: The idea of another sickeningly heroic Tom Cruise character inevitably ending up murdering Werner Herzog leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Official Conversation Poll: Is this the best casting news EVER?
@davidehrlich: yes and duh.
@TheRetroCritic: Yes yes yes! Herzog needs to be stroking an iguana at all times. At ALL times.
@vjmfilms: it's as good as vegan cheese is bad [ed. note: partly an inside joke]
@Phil_on_Film: It was a star vehicle I wasn't particularly excited about. It is now one of my most eagerly anticipated releases.
Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.