I’m starting to suspect that Werner Herzog’s ‘reimagining’ of Bad Lieutenant is actually being directed by Zak Penn, and may have a cameo by the Loch Ness Monster. How else am I to continue to reconcile the strange and fascinating casting and news coming from this one? First it’s Nic Cage taking the Harvey Keitel role, then it’s Herzog claiming he never even heard of Abel Ferrara (which is probably my favorite news story of the year to date), and then it’s the reuniting of chemistry-free Ghost Rider couple Cage and Eva Mendes.

Now Herzog, who can no longer fight with Klaus Kinski on movie sets, has hired one of the more notoriously difficult guys out there, Val Kilmer, to play the partner to Cage’s ‘cop on the edge.’ I hope they’re rolling lots of EPK tape on this set. Also cast in the film is Xzibit, rapper turned TV host turned X-Files star. He’s playing Big Fade, the bad guy (these basic details, as far as I know, are new and about all the info we have on the film, besides the fact that it’s set in New Orleans).

[Goddammit, I go out for 45 minutes to get a burger after posting a story hoping for Kilmer in more interesting movies, and this breaks! – Russ]

This is all actually good casting, even Xzibit, who I like a bunch. And I’m kind of interested in seeing if Kilmer and Herzog together can get Cage’s performance to go up a notch… or if this whole thing is going to be devolve into some kind of over the top, method lunatic madness. I think all of this, and more, is likely.