Germany Defense Ministry spokesman Harald Kammerbauer says the country is refusing to let the Bryan Singer-directed Valkyrie film at German military sites because of Tom Cruise's belief in Scientology. In the film, based on true events, German generals hatch a scheme to assassinate Adolph Hitler at the height of WWII.
"[Filmmakers] will not be allowed to film at German military sites if Count Stauffenberg is played by Tom Cruise, who has publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult," Kammerbauer said. "In general, the Bundeswehr (German military) has a special interest in the serious and authentic portrayal of the events of July 20, 1944 and Stauffenberg's person."
Germany does not recognize the Church of Scientology as a church.
United Artists Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Paula Wagner released the following statement regarding the matter:
"To set the record straight, 'Valkyrie' is a historically accurate thriller that presents the World War Two resistance hero Col. Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg as the heroic and principled figure he was, and we believe it will go a long way towards reminding the world that even within the ranks of the German military there was real resistance to the Nazi regime. 'Valkyrie' was originated and brought to United Artists by Bryan Singer and Christopher McQuarrie. Based on the fantastic screenplay written by Mr. McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander, we gave it the green light. Mr. Singer, the director, then offered the role of Col. Stauffenberg to Tom Cruise because he thought he was perfect for the part. Aside from his obvious admiration of the man he is portraying, Mr. Cruise's personal beliefs have absolutely no bearing on the movie's plot, themes, or content. And even though we could shoot the movie anywhere in the world, we believe Germany is the only place we can truly do the story justice."
The dramatic thriller also stars Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Patrick Wilson, Stephen Fry, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten and Eddie Izzard.