Germany Says Valkyrie Not Banned


Variety says that despite calls by some German officials to ban Bryan Singer’s World War II drama Valkyrie from shooting at government locations — due to Tom Cruise’s ties to Scientology — the project is getting plenty of support from the local film industry and looks likely to get the greenlight from authorities to film at historical sites in the country.

In the film, written by Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander, Cruise is set to play German officer Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, a national hero who was executed in 1944 for attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler in a plot code-named Valkyrie.

The courtyard in which Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators were shot is now a memorial, but the building in which it’s located, the Bendlerblock, also houses part of the German Ministry of Defense.

That, and not Cruise’s affiliation to Scientology, poses the main hurdle to a film permit for Singer and his crew, according to Dirk Kuehnau, head of the Bundesanstalt fuer Immobilienaufgaben (BIMA), the company in charge of government buildings.

“In this country, we have constitutionally guaranteed rights,” Kuehnau said. “Articles four and five of the constitution protect freedom of faith and creed and freedom of expression. I don’t think those rights would be denied a film actor.”

If anything, it would be the lights and cables and camera teams that could disrupt work at the Defense Ministry, Kuehnau said, adding that if an arrangement is found where filming does not interfere with government business, a filming permit should be no problem.

Contrary to earlier reports, the defense minister has not banned the project from shooting at the site. In fact, the Defense Ministry, which would lease the building, does not have the right to grant or reject filming permits — that is up to BIMA.