VALKYRIE: At the hight of WW2, a group of high ranking German officers
hatch out a plot to assasinate Adolph Hitler, and sieze power of the military
in order to end the war. The operation was codenamed "Valkyrie"
Tom Cruise ... Col. Claus von Stauffenberg
Carice van Houten ... Nina Von Stauffenberg
Kenneth Branagh ... Henning Von Tresckow
Eddie Izzard ... Erich Fellgiebel
Eddie Izzard: I'm somewhat encyclopedic on the second world war - I don't think
there's anything me and Chris McQuarrie don't know together - so I knew about
this story. To know that German people stood up, in a very difficult situation,
risked their lives, and lost their lives. They are genuine heroes. To go in and
do this story honour and try and get it as accurate as possible is great. For
12 years, a criminal, Hitler, came and kidnapped the country and, hopefully, we
show here what ordinary decent citizens of that country were trying to do.
Izzard: I think Hugh Jackman is the only one allowed to go home in his uniform.
We couldn't because you're not allowed to wear swastikas around Germany. You can
do a film in them but you're not allowed to wander around wearing swastikas. The
interesting thing is the original uniforms were designed by Hugo Boss. Back in
those days most democratic armies had uniforms made together with whatever they
had left over, and the Nazis had these uniforms which were designed by Hugo Boss.
It was the father and the son, and they were obviously very frowned upon after
the war and sold the title, which has nothing to do with the label now.
Eddie Talks Valkyrie
Eddie Izzard suits up for Valkyrie
By Ian Caddell
NEW YORK CITY—There doesn't seem to be much that Eddie Izzard can't do. He
is a standup comic who has starred in more than a half-dozen videos and played
clubs and arenas in several countries. He is the star of an award-winning TV drama
called The Riches that sees him heading up a family of con men that takes
over the identity of an upper-middle-class family. And, as of Christmas Day, he
will be on screens playing a respected German general who is unsure of whether
or not to join a plot to kill Hitler.
Izzard says his role in that film, Valkyrie, which stars Tom Cruise
as the leader of a group that plans the assassination but needs Izzard's general
to make it work, was a project that he decided to seek. Surprisingly, the U.K.–raised
Izzard says he could relate to his character.
“I have studied World War II, and when I was a kid, I wanted to be in the
British army,” he says in a New York City hotel room. “There were a lot of things
about my youth that would have slotted into his life. If I had been a German person
going into the Second World War, I would have gone into the army. I can see that
happening. So I felt comfortable from the beginning with him. There was never
going to be a problem with becoming the character. You just have to go into it
and grab it. Some of it you are pulling from yourself and the other things you
Izzard says he is a big believer in taking pieces from your past in order
to create characters. And he feels that it is that approach that has allowed him
to move easily between standup, his dramatic TV series, and movies like Valkyrie,
something he says audiences aren't always ready for. He says that standup comics
have a particularly tough time doing drama because the audience has been conditioned
to laugh with them.
“The buttons you are pushing in a dramatic role are different from comedy
and it is tricky to land both well because comedy tends to get into people's brains.
If you are a comic, you can do what you think is the best dramatic performance
in the world but someone will say, ‘I was waiting for you to say this.' When I
am doing drama, there is a distinct part of me that I pull from. It can be some
fight I had in my life, or the hell I went through when my mom died that has created
an anger inside me. I feel as though I am getting better at bringing those things
out in roles. My standup routine is different. When I get into that, I am a relentless
bastard. Hopefully, I get better and better at all these things. I know you are
always going to make a misstep if you have that ambition, but hopefully each will
inform the other in some shape or form.”
Eddie Izzard's movie doubts
Eddie Izzard still hasn't seen his new movie 'Valkyrie', despite shooting it
18 months ago.
The British actor appears in the much delayed film alongside Tom Cruise, but
despite it being released this month, he hasn't watched a final cut yet.
Eddie, 46, said: "I haven't seen 'Valkyrie' yet. I did that a year and a half
ago. I have no idea what I did. It's so odd, for a year and a half you're waiting
to see - all the preparation you put into it - whether it came off or whether
it didn't. In stand up you get it a split second after you say it."
Eddie has recently returned to stand up comedy - receiving a hugely positive
reaction in the UK where he sold out his first run of shows in London's West End
for 12 years in 48 hours - but insists he is still pursuing his dramatic acting
He added: "I've slightly downplayed the stand-up over the past 15 years and
kept pushing on the drama. But I'm still playing catch up."
Eddie has also appeared in films including 'Ocean's Thirteen' and TV series
'The Riches', as well as lending his voice to characters in animated film 'Igor'
and UK film 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian'.
Izzard confident of 'Valkyrie' success Tuesday, September 9 2008, 20:26 BST
By Simon Reynolds, Entertainment Reporter
Eddie Izzard is confident that controversial war thriller Valkyrie,
in which he co-stars with Tom Cruise, can prove critics wrong and become a hit.
The film has faced setbacks including multiple release date changes, a lawsuit
from injured extras and objections from the German government due to Cruise's
faith in Scientology.
Speaking to DS at the National Movie Awards, Izzard said a recent
test screening in the US had prompted studio United Artists to move the release
date to a more favourable awards season slot.
He said: "We just tested it in Nevada about a month ago for people who didn't
know [about it]. We said, 'Do you wanna see a film? No-one knows what's in it'.
It tested really well - so suddenly it was going to go out in February and they
brought it forward to December. I haven't seen it yet. I'm intrigued to see."
Izzard added: "As long as we get a good film, we'll be fine. Anything after that
Historical Background of the Players
" Eddie Izzard, the famed English comedian, plays Gen. Erich Fellgiebel.
Hitler never trusted Fellgiebel, a brilliant Prussian military officer, due to
his independence of mind but nonetheless relied on his intelligence and made him
head of the Signal Service."
But the best part was this "Needless to say, there has been much anticipation
over this film, especially since the lead role went to Tom Cruise, who has never
quite got the knack of acting. Like Jeremy Irons, he seems to believe that completely
different characters require little or no change in performance, but is mysteriously
still making films nonetheless. (Cruise at least has the excuse of being a Scientologist
to explain his success… what’s Jeremy Irons’s?)." ha.
'Valkyrie' pushed back to 2009
'Valkyrie' pushed back to 2009 Rex Features The United Artists and MGM World War
II thriller Valkyrie has been pushed back from an October 3 release to February
13 next year. The film was originally due to bow this summer but was pushed back
to allow director Bryan Singer to complete shooting. The latest release change
shifts Valkyrie away from Hollywood's awards season and into a date that will
see it face competition from Confessions of a Shopaholic and the Friday the 13th
remake. "MGM is proud and excited to be presenting Valkyrie, and because of that
we want to give it the best launch possible," said Clark Woods, President of Domestic
Distribution at MGM. "When an opening became available for President's Day Weekend,
we seized the opportunity. Having seen a lot of the film and how great it is going
to play once it's finished, moving into a big holiday weekend is the right move."
Both the Pink Panther sequel and Wolfman recently vacated the February 13 weekend.
Valkyrie revolves around a plot by German officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Eddie Izzard, Terence
Stamp and Carice Van Houten star in the film.
First Look of Eddie as Erich Fellgiebel
The Good German
"..The cast list reads like a roll-call of veterans of stage, television
and film: as well as Branagh, it features Bill Nighy, David Schofield, Tom Wilkinson,
David Bamber, Kenneth Cranham, Kevin McNally, Ian McNeice, Tom Hollander, Jamie
Parker and Terence Stamp. The only possible outsider in the group is self-described
"action transvestite'' Eddie Izzard, who says of his path to acting via street
performing and stand-up: "I took a slightly different, circuitous route to the
rest of them.''
However, Izzard, who portrays General Erich Fellgiebel, is a keen student
of the Second World War, and probably knew more about Operation Valkyrie than
any of the others before the script arrived..."
READ FULL ARTICLE
First Photos On the left is the actual Claus von Stauffenberg, and on the right is Tom
'Valkyrie' Begins Principal Photography in Berlin
WWII thriller marks first re-teaming of director Bryan Singer and Oscar(R)-winning
screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie since their 1995 hit "The Usual Suspects" Tom
Cruise heads a cast of international stars including Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy,
Tom Wilkinson, Eddie Izzard, Christian Berkel, Thomas Kretschmann, and Carice
van Houten Production releases first photographs of Cruise as Stauffenberg
LOS ANGELES, July 18 /CNW/ -- United Artists Entertainment LLC announced the
start of principal photography today in Berlin on the international production
of "Valkyrie," a suspense thriller based on the true story of the daring German
officers' plot to assassinate Hitler in 1944.
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 film is being produced by Singer,
McQuarrie, and Gilbert Adler ("Superman Returns," "Constantine"), with Chris Lee
("Superman Returns") executive producing. Joining Singer behind the camera is
a talented production team that includes director of photography Newton Thomas
Sigel ("Superman Returns," "X2"), costume designer Joanna Johnston ("Munich,"
"War of the Worlds"), and editor John Ottman (" Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver
Surfer," "Superman Returns").
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-own the studio. It 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
The film will be shot on location in Germany and elsewhere. It is scheduled
to be ready for release by MGM in the summer of 2008.
IMDb has listed the actual title of the movie as Rubicon instead of Valkyrie,
stating that Valkyrie was just a working title (used for filming and initial naming)
and that I guess Rubicon might be the official release title we'll see next August.
Before embarking on the Superman sequel, Singer openly discussed helming a smaller
project going back to the days of thrillers The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil.
In late 2006, screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie presented to Singer a story that
took place in World War II. In the following months, the two collaborated on the
project, an original thriller that would be a multi-character ensemble piece.
In March 2007, the duo brought the project directly to United Artists partners
Paula Wagner and Tom Cruise, who immediately agreed to finance the film. The script
is based on the actual events of German generals plotting to assassinate Adolf
Hitler during World War II. Singer invited Tom Cruise to take the lead role, which
Cruise accepted. Filming will begin on July 19 in Berlin.
Cruise film banned from memorial
Actor Tom Cruise and the makers of his new movie have been banned from filming
at the location in Berlin where an army colonel was executed in World War II.
Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who was executed after plotting to
assassinate Hitler in 1944.
Germany's finance ministry said the ban on Valkyrie's makers had nothing to do
with the actor being a Scientologist.
Producers have already been barred from military sites because Germany believes
Scientology is a money-making cult.
Scientology leaders strongly reject that view, while Cruise's co-producer has
said his personal beliefs were not relevant to the film's subject matter.
A German government spokesman said the cast and crew had been refused permission
to film on the so-called Bendlerblock site, which is part of the defence ministry,
because it was a memorial site. Meanwhile director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
- who won this year's best foreign language film Oscar for The Lives of Others
- has defended Cruise, telling the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that
having him play Stauffenberg "would promote Germany's image more than 10 football
Valkyrie - named after Operation Valkyrie, the plot's codename - is directed by
Bryan Singer and also stars Kenneth Branagh. It is due for release next year.
Sounds like Tom Cruise and his producers have finalized enough location permits
to get their "Valkyrie" film shot in Germany, even if the country's Defense Ministry
has denied them access to the "Bendlerblock." That site, now considered a national
military memorial, was where Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his accomplices were
executed after their failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in July 1944.
"Valkyrie" traces the plot that could have shortened World War II and altered
the course of history. Previously, German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung had
said the filmmakers could not shoot at any German military sites as long as Cruise
was involved due to his ties to Scientology, which the German government has long
attacked as a cult. Now, the Germans claim the permit denials had nothing to do
with Scientology, merely respect for the sanctity of these military sites. An
insider, working on the film, says that is not true, but confirms that the "Valkyrie"
project has lined up all the needed filming sites required.