Stockholm native Ferguson, 30, is a familiar face to viewers of Swedish television after starring in the soap opera Nya Tider earlier in her career.
She has also appeared in an episode of the Swedish crime series Wallander, but is perhaps best known for starring in period drama The White Queen, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Ferguson, whose mother is British, is described as an “up and comer” by the respected Deadline publication which broke the story.
“I would imagine there might be a Hollywood agency or five courting her after they read this (announcement),” the magazine reported.
Swedish daily Aftonbladet reported that Tom Cruise was won over by Ferguson’s looks, and that the role, as an assassin, will be physically demanding. Ferguson is set for strenuous training over the summer. Filming is due to begin in August.
The 30-year-old isn’t the first Swede whom Tom Cruise will have to square up against on screen. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Michael Nyqvist played a villain in Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol in 2011.
Since the first film was released in 1996, the Mission Impossible series has racked up more than $2 billion at the box office.
Ferguson joins Swedish actress Britt Ekland in landing a leading role in an action series. Ekland starred in the James Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ in 1974.
In April Swedish media reported that actresses Disa Östrand and Ida Engvoll were auditioned to play a Scandinavian Bond girl in the next film in the long-running series.