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Tom Cruise’s next onscreen opponent is… Werner Herzog?

Tom Cruise’s next onscreen opponent is… Werner Herzog? (photo)

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Tom Cruise has been a movie star for roughly thirty years. In that time, he’s fought such onscreen adversaries as Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Oprah’s couch. Now, according to Entertainment Weekly, he’s about to face off against his most intense opponent yet: director Werner Herzog.

EW reports that Herzog has signed on to co-star in the upcoming Cruise vehicle “One Shot” as “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.” Herzog knows a thing or two about directing movies about ex-prisoners of war — he made the documentary “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” and and the fiction film “Rescue Dawn” about just that subject.

Earlier today, I got a press release about Herzog’s new documentary “Into the Abyss,” which opens in November, and I was thinking about possibly interviewing Herzog. The first question that came to mind: why don’t you act more? Funny timing; I guess Herzog’s been wondering the same thing. He’s known as a director, but he’s so naturally funny I really think he could have a second career in comedy. He’s so droll and poetic as the narrator of documentaries like “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” and he was great in Zak Penn’s two improv comedies, “The Grand” and “Incident at Loch Ness,” where he played himself in a cheerful spoof of one of his doomed productions.

I don’t know how good Herzog will be as the villain of a big Tom Cruise picture — I had a hard enough time taking Hugo Weaving seriously in “Captain America” as the Red Skull when he just sounded like Herzog — but I am really curious to see what happens. If The Zec is a kind of tongue-in-cheek baddie, I can’t imagine anyone more perfect. I’ll be keeping an eye on this project as it develops; it’s currently listed on IMDb with a 2013 release date.

DO you want to see Werner Herzog playing the big bad in a Hollywood thriller? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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