Director of Brad Pitt Film Apologizes for Shooting War Scenes on U.K. Memorial Day
LONDON – Filmmaker David Ayer, currently shooting Brad Pitt starrer Fury in the U.K., hit the headlines this week after filming war scenes featuring extras in Nazi uniforms on Remembrance Sunday, Britain's equivalent of Veterans Day.
Ayer took to Twitter to express his "heartfelt apologies for any disrespect on Remembrance Day" after pre-dawn explosions and Nazi scenes were filmed in an Oxfordshire village for his film.
Ayer, himself a veteran, said "it was an honor" for him to be making a film in the U.K.
The director also posted a picture of a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington Cemetery in the U.S. with his apology.
Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day, is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who died serving their country.
The movie's decision to press ahead with its shoot -- in the very early hours of Sunday morning -- caused a stir with locals.
According to the Daily Mirror, Oxfordshire village parish council chairman Ian Hill said that local people were "very angry" with the decision to film on Remembrance Sunday.
Producers at Sony also issued an apology, stating that they "deeply regret any misunderstandings caused."
Fury, which also stars Jason Isaacs and Shia LaBeouf, is due to be released in October 2014 and details the story of a World War II tank crew.
One extra who was filming on Sunday described the shoot to the Mirror as being "grotesquely disrespectful and offensive. I can't believe I wore an SS uniform on Remembrance Sunday."
The furor was picked up across the media, including the BBC. The U.K. public broadcaster devotes a good deal of its schedule to the annual memorial day, which this year saw the Queen, Prince William and Prince Harry lay commemorative wreaths at the Cenotaph, Whitehall in central London.