Werner Herzog to play villain in Tom Cruise pic

Director will star opposite Cruise in Par and Skydance's 'One Shot' thriller

Werner Herzog has come on as the villain in Paramount and Skydance’s “One Shot” starring Tom Cruise.

The pic also stars Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins and Robert Duvall.

Christopher McQuarrie is directing from a script he penned.

The book series by Lee Child follows Jack Reacher, a former military policeman turned drifter. In “One Shot,” Reacher investigates the case of a sniper accused of murdering five people before being captured.

Herzog will play The Zec, an ex-prisoner of war who arranges and stages the killing and is the head of the conspiracy. Par had no comment on the casting.

Cruise and David Ellison will produce along with Don Granger, Paula Wagner, Dana Goldberg and Gary Levinsohn through Mutual Film Company and Cruise/Wagner Productions.

“One Shot” is the first major acting role for the German auteur, aside from cameos and an occasional voice-over work on “The Simpsons.”

Herzog has been concentrating on docus lately, including “Grizzy Man” and “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.”

Sources say that McQuarrie had always wanted to work with the auteur, and after meeting with Herzog, he saw the opportunity to do so with his latest project.

The helmer’s most recent docu, “Into the Abyss,” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

He is repped by Gersh.

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