Bale and Zahn 'Rescue' Herzog

Werner Herzog has pulled a couple of fine actors for his next film as Christian Bale and Steve Zahn will star in Rescue Dawn, an an action-drama based on the Herzog's 1977 documentary "Little Dieter Needs to Fly."

The film will begin lensing in Thailand next month and tells the real-life story of U.S. fighter pilot Dieter Dengler, a German-American shot down and captured in Laos during the Vietnam War. Dengler, to be played by Bale, organized a death-defying escape for a small band of POWs, including Duane Martin (Zahn).

This is the first true directorial outing for Herzog in several years as he has dedicated most of his time to documentaries such as Incident at Loch Ness and the upcoming Lions Gate release Grizzly Man, which will see a limited theatrical run and then air later this fall on the Discovery Channel.