Lab spoils 'Valkyrie' footage


CANNES -- A key scene in the Tom Cruise World War II thriller "Valkyrie" will have to be re-shot after footage was damaged in processing.

The film, in which Cruise plays would-be Hitler assassin Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, has been the source of immense interest and controversy in Germany and has had its share of production headaches.

"Valkyrie" director Bryan Singer and producer United Artists had to spend months negotiating with German authorities to get permission to shoot at a key historical site in Berlin, the Bendler-Block, where von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators plotted to kill Hitler and where they eventually were executed.

But some of the Bendler-Block footage was damaged during processing at the ARRI film lab in Munich.

A UA spokesman said the damage was not extensive and the re-shoot would not have any effect on the film's production schedule or budget.

"Valkyrie" is under a glaring spotlight of media attention in Germany. Any news of production hiccups immediately becomes tabloid fodder. A minor accident early on in the shoot -- in which some German extras fell off a truck during an outdoor scene -- was widely discussed in the local press.

Several German politicians and some members of the von Stauffenberg family have attacked the project, in part because of Cruise's association with the Church of Scientology, which is viewed with suspicion in Germany.

But the local industry has welcomed the shoot, which is pumping millions into Berlin and the surrounding area.