Well this has got to be one of the most unexpected and exciting pieces of movie news I’ve heard so far this year. Paramount has just announced that German filmmaker Werner Herzog will play the villain in their upcoming adaptation of Lee Childs’ One Shot. No joke! With all the fan backlash surrounding Tom Cruise being cast as the protagonist Jack Reacher, it’s about time they found something to get people excited about this project. Of course, from a commercial standpoint, Herzog’s casting will mean absolutely nothing, but for a certain group of cinephiles, their minds are now blown. Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins and Robert Duvall have also signed on to star in the film.
According to Variety, Herzog will play a character named The Zec, “an ex-prisoner of war who arranges and stages the killing” of five people. While a sniper is accused of the murders, Jack Reacher steps in to try and apprehend the real culprit. Director Christopher McQuarrie says he always wanted to work with Herzog, and after meeting with him, he thought this project would be the perfect opportunity.
It isn’t the first time Herzog has appeared in front of the camera outside of his own films; he previously had roles in Harmony Korine’s Julien Donkey-Boy and Mister Lonely, in addition to Zak Penn’s mockumentaries Incident at Loch Ness and The Grand. However, this is definitely further proof that Herzog has become a celebrity outside of the art house world and that, 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. One Shot is scheduled to hit theatres on February 8th, 2013. What do you think, is Werner Herzog an inspired choice or does this reek of stunt casting?