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Germany Does an About-Face on Valkyrie

Published September 14, 2007 in Movie News
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of United Artists.
After giving Tom Cruise grief over the past few months by limiting locations Valkyrie can shoot, Germany has done a classic about-face by changing its mind and allowing the film to shoot at the original site wither the officers behind the conspiracy were executed.

Valkyrie at Bendlerblock

Thorsten Albig, a spokesman for the German finance ministry, has announced that Germany will open the doors to Bendlerblock, the location plot leader Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and several of his co-conspirators were killed shortly after the bomb they planted injured but failed to kill the Nazi leader on July 20, 1944.

The finance ministry is responsible for all property owned by the federal government, so there is no need for final approval upstairs. Bendlerblock, controlled by the finance ministry as well, is now a memorial and national German shrine.

"There was a change of sentiment at the ministry of defense," Albig said, referring to the ministry that is located in the complex of buildings surrounding the shrine to von Stauffenberg — a national hero in a country that because of its belligerent past has a definite shortage in that department.

Valkyrie The rebels from left: Kevin McNally, Christian Berkel, Bill Nighy, Tom Cruise, Terence Stamp, David Schofield and Kenneth Brannagh

"The latest request by the film team was given a positive answer," he added. "There was a different feeling about the project. We will take a closer look with director Bryan Singer at the location and, while ensuring that the dignity of the shrine is protected, see what's possible and what's not."

The German government claims they had objections about the shoot due to bad past experiences with other film crews desecrating locations such as the Bendlerblock. It doesn't help that German newspapers were against having Tom Cruise play Claus, with von Stauffenberg's son fuelling the outrage.

Valkyrie opens to theaters on June 27th, 2008.

For more images and additional info, go to the Valkyrie Movie Page.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of United Artists.

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