Germany embraces Tom Cruise film
BERLIN — The German government has done an about-face and decided to allow the makers of “Valkyrie” — the Tom Cruise starrer about the failed 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler — to use the actual site where the officers behind the conspiracy were executed.
Thorsten Albig, a spokesman for the Finance Ministry, told the Bild newspaper that there had been a change of heart about allowing the filmmakers to shoot at the Bendlerblock, where 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, including the Bendlerblock, which is now a memorial and national German shrine.
“There was a change of sentiment at the Ministry of Defense,” Albig said, referring to the government department located in the complex of buildings surrounding the shrine to von Stauffenberg — a national hero.
“There was a different feeling about the project,” he added. “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 Defense Ministry had raised objections earlier this year because of bad experiences in recent years with film crews that had set up their equipment — and catering trucks — at the location.
United Artists Entertainment said in a statement that it was “extremely grateful to the German government for allowing us to film at the Bendlerblock.”
“Valkyrie” — the code name of the conspirators’ plot — began filming July 18 in Berlin. MGM/UA plans a June 27 release.
(Dave McNary in Hollywood contributed to this report.)