Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Chris Nashawaty
October 04, 2011 AT 08:47 PM EDT

Werner Herzog will play the villain in Tom Cruise’s in-the-works Paramount thriller One Shot, EW has confirmed. The eccentric German auteur will play a character named The Zec, an ex-prisoner of war that first came to life in one of Lee Child’s bestselling Jack Reacher novels, according to Variety, which first reported the story.

The movie also stars Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, and Robert Duvall, and will be directed by The Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie. While Herzog may be a relative newbie when it comes to acting in front of the camera, playing a creepy villain opposite Cruise seems like a natural fit thanks to the auteur’s idiosyncratic, slightly off persona, which was recently put to good use as a guest voice on The Simpsons. Herzog is best known for such feature films as 1982’s Fitzcarraldo and 2006’s Rescue Dawn, starring Christian Bale. His documentaries, in which he often plays a part of the narrative, include 2005’s Grizzly Man and this summers’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Read more:

Tom Cruise to play Lee Child’s rugged Jack Reacher

‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ is the highest-grossing indie doc of the year. How did that happen?

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