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Werner Herzog Is ‘One Shot’ Villain (Yes, Really); M.C. Gainey In Talks For ‘Django Unchained’; Olivia Wilde Gets ‘Rush’

Written by on October 4, 2011 

When Robert Duvall landed a role in One Shot that was accompanied with a vague description, some began to assume that he would be playing the villain of the piece. Turns out that someone else has this part — and it’s the last person you’d expect. As Variety informs us, the main antagonist to go up against Tom Cruise is none other than legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog.

I’ll just assume that everyone reading this knows who he is — or is at least familiar with his now-trademark voice — so I can just say that this is a peculiar choice. Herzog has never had a major acting role before, with most of his performances being restricted to minor work in Harmony Korine movies. For him to really start in a Tom Cruise thriller — it’s odd; but also wonderful. Writer and director Christopher McQuarrie has wanted to work with him for some time, and a meeting with the director spurred the idea on. If you were to ask me, that was a great move on his part.

As the plot follows Cruise‘s character, Jack Reacher, and his investigation into a sniper killing, Herzog will play “The Zec, an ex-prisoner of war who arranges and stages the killing and is the head of the conspiracy.” What conspiracy? We as an audience will have to find out through a thick German accent. Nothing to complain about.

There was already a little interest on my part in seeing what this would turn out to be; that’s now increased exponentially. Also starring Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Alexia Fast, and Jai Courtney, One Shot will open on February 8th, 2013.

Moving on to something I’ve been incredibly excited about since day one, Variety also reports that M.C. Gainey is in talks to join Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained. The Lost actor would be taking up the part of Big John Brittle, a character that rapes Broomhilda, the wife of Jamie Foxx’s Django, while also branding the lead with an “R” on his cheek. (The “R” stands for “runaway.”) Furthermore, the Christoph Waltz character, Dr. King Schultz, is hunting Big John and two of his brothers for a reward. Sounds like a small part in terms of screentime, but a big one in terms of plot.

Gainey has a very intimidating onscreen presence, making him equipped for a character of this sort; don’t worry: he can act, too. Although the guy might not be someone who immediately comes to mind for the film, this somewhat unusual choice fits in with both the film at hand and Tarantino‘s oeuvre. Also starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Gerald McRaney, Dennis Christopher, and Laura Cayouette — with Michael K. Williams, Kerry Washington, and Kurt Russell possibly involvedDjango Unchained opens on December 25th, 2012.

Lastly, Deadline has learned that Olivia Wilde will be appearing in Ron Howard‘s Rush, playing model Suzy Miller. In real life, Miller was married to racer James Hunt, played here by Chris Hemsworth. This marriage didn’t last, however, with her falling victim to the charms of the legendary Richard Burton. So, in casting that’s, to me, much more interesting, it’s reported that Howard might reunite with A Beautiful Mind star Russell Crowe for this film; he would have a small part as Burton.

Circumstances behind the parting are rather funny — the two “negotiated a ‘transfer’ of assets, with Burton paying the $1 million divorce settlement that Hunt owed Miller.” For a movie that sounded like a standard biopic about two competing racers, some humor is welcome. With the both of them signing on, they’ll be in a cast that also includes Daniel Brühl as Hunt’s rival, Niki Lauda, and Alexandra Maria Lara. A release is expected for late 2012.

Are you excited about any of these films? What does the respective casting do for your anticipation?

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