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"Valkyrie," a suspense thriller based on the true story of the daring German officers' plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944 did its red carpet premiere Thursday night, December 18th, 2008, in Hollywood, with its star, Tom Cruise.
Directed by Bryan Singer ("The Usual Suspects," "Superman Returns,"
"X-Men," "X2: X-Men: United") and written by Academy Award ® winning
screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects," "The Way of the
Gun") and Nathan Alexander, "Valkyrie" reunites Singer and McQuarrie for the
first time since their ground-breaking 1995 thriller "The Usual Suspects."
Superstar Tom Cruise heads an international cast as Col. Claus von
Stauffenberg, the aristocratic German officer who led the heroic attempt to
bring down the Nazi regime and end the war by planting a bomb in Hitler's
bunker. Also starring are Kenneth Branagh ("Harry Potter and the Chamber of
Secrets"), Bill Nighy ("Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"), Tom
Wilkinson ("In the Bedroom"), Carice van Houten ("Black Book"), Eddie Izzard
("Ocean's Thirteen"), Christian Berkel ("Black Book"), Thomas Kretschmann
("King Kong"), and Terrence Stamp ("Billy Budd," "Superman," "Star Wars:
Episode I - The Phantom Menace").
The "July 20 Plot" on Hitler's life is one of the most heroic but least known episodes of World War Two. Severely wounded in combat, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg returns from Africa to join the German Resistance and help create
Operation Valkyrie, the complex plan that will allow a shadow government to
replace Hitler's once he is dead. But fate and circumstance conspire to thrust
Stauffenberg from one of many in the plot to a double-edged central role. Not
only must he lead the coup and seize control of his nation's government ... He
must kill Hitler himself.
"'Valkyrie' tells a story that is not only exciting but also important," said Singer. "It's something that Chris McQuarrie and I have wanted to do for some time. I can't imagine shooting it anywhere else but on location in Germany, and I'm thrilled that we were able to get Tom Cruise to play Col. Stauffenberg."
"'Valkyrie' is a gripping thriller that will keep audiences on the edge
of their seats -- and also 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," said United Artists Chief Executive Officer Paula Wagner. "As soon as
we read the screenplay, we knew this was a movie we had to make."
"Valkyrie" is the second production to be green-lit by United Artists
since the fabled Hollywood studio was revived last November under the
leadership of Cruise and Wagner, who co-owned the studio. Wagner left last year to pursue her own independent films, yet is still partners with Cruise. Pic is a co-production of United Artists and Studio Babelsberg AG, the venerable German film studio whose stages have hosted productions ranging from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" to Paul Greengrass's "The Bourne Ultimatum."
United Artists Entertainment LLC was formed in November 2006 under a
partnership between Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Ms. Wagner departed, but remains close friends and partners with Mr. Cruise on a large slate of films. Wagner formerly served as Chief Executive Officer. The historic United Artists brand was initially founded some 85 years ago by movie greats Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and D.W. Griffith and, throughout its history, has created such iconic film franchises as Rocky, The Pink Panther, and James Bond.
Tom Cruise, one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, stated that as a child, he and his friends used to play games outdoors in which they would pretend they were "killing the Nazis." With Valkyrie, he seeks again to do just that.