UA, MGM set date for Oct. 3

United Artists and MGM have pushed back the release of Bryan Singer’s Tom Cruise starrer “Valkyrie” from the July Fourth holiday frame to Oct. 3, 2008.

Singer has yet to shoot a pivotal battle scene that explains how Cruise’s character, a German officer who is part of a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, lost his eye and hand while fighting in the North African desert. Battle scene was originally set to be shot outside the U.S., but those plans were scuttled. UA is in the process of nailing down a new location.

UA, which Cruise and producing partner Paula Wagner revived last year, wants to make sure Singer has the time he needs. Film had been set to open June 27.

“Valkyrie,” Singer’s first film since “Superman Returns,” is based on a real-life story.

The plan now is for Singer to shoot the scene in February. The rest of the production wrapped in October. Thus far, all the footage was shot on location in Germany.

Moving “Valkyrie” to October means the picture will be released at the beginning of awards season.

Decision to relocate “Valkyrie” could help explain why Universal announced earlier this month that it’s moving the release of “Wanted” from March to June 27 — considered one of the best dates on the calendar, since it comes at the beginning of the July Fourth frame.

“Valkyrie” will now go up against Warner Bros.’ crime actioner “RocknRolla,” directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Gerard Butler, Jeremy Piven and Thandie Newton; Universal’s Dennis Quaid-Rob Brown sports drama “The Express”; and Sony’s Kat Dennings-Michael Cera drama “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.”

“Valkyrie” is set to be UA’s second release after this fall’s Cruise-Meryl Streep-Robert Redford political drama “Lions for Lambs.”

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