22. June 2007
Because of his ties to Scientology, Tom Cruise is not welcome to use Germany's defense ministry as a location for his next film, officials said.
The US actor-director is reportedly planning a movie about the July 20, 1944 attempt to assassinate Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, who survived the blast bloodied but not seriously injured.
Cruise is expected to play Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, the military officer who led the plot and was promptly executed in a courtyard, close to his own office at the army and navy HQ.
The German defense minister now uses the building as his office along with a Defense Ministry complex in Bonn.
Antje Blumenthal, party spokeswoman for the Christian Democrats on sect issues, said Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung had assured her Cruise would not be given a clearance to film inside the secure site.
She said letting Cruise inside would have seemed like Germany's recognition of Scientology.
Babelsberg Studios near Berlin said the company was unaware of any shooting schedule for the movie with the working title "Valkyrie," and was still in co-production talks about the project.
The defense ministry said it had not received any request to use the building. News reports said Cruise had taken a look at the military building from outside and studio scenes were to begin on July 19.
Stauffenberg's oldest son, Berthold, meanwhile said in remarks quoted Friday by the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung that he objected to a practicing Scientologist playing his father.
"I hoped for a while that it was all just a publicity stunt by Mr. Cruise," said the 72-year-old retired major general of the German Bundeswehr. He added that Cruise "should keep his hands off my father."
It's sure to be crap," he said of the movie. "Of course I could be wrong -- I would like to be."
Stauffenberg said Cruise's professed faith in Scientology was "off-putting," adding that the church was not a religion but a "business."
Go climbing instead
"I am not saying that Cruise is a bad actor -- I cannot judge that," he said. "But, in any case, I fear that it could turn into horrible kitsch." Stauffenberg added that he had been deeply disappointed by previous films on his father.
While he said that he would not take legal action against the movie plan as his father was a historical figure, he hoped Cruise would drop the project nevertheless.
"He should climb a mountain or go surfing in the Caribbean," he said. "I don't care as long as he
stays out of it."
Pictures from left to right: Tom Cruise, Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, Berthold Stauffenberg
Source: Deutsche Welle DW-World.de @
Click to view image: '64464-02619577100.jpg'
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