‘Tom Cruise wants to promote ‘Valkyrie’ in India’

January 20th, 2009 - 11:49 am ICT by IANS  

Tom CruiseNew Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Hollywood filmmaker Bryan Singer, who is currently on a promotional tour across Asia and Europe with superstar Tom Cruise for his Nazi thriller “Valkyrie”, has revealed that the actor is keen on visiting India to promote the film.”Tom wants to go to India for the promotion. His daughter (Isabella, 16, adopted) has told him a lot about the country and he is eager to go there. India is also an emerging and growing market in terms of business for us,” Singer told IANS over phone from Seoul, South Korea.

“I’d also like the Indian audience to know that ‘Valkyrie’ is a true and extraordinary story. It’s an edge-of-the-seat assassination thriller and is the story of a neglected event in time,” added the director who is also contemplating visiting Japan and China as a part of the promotional tour.

Set in Nazi Germany during World War II, “Valkyrie” is a historical thriller depicting the July 20, 1944, plot by German army officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key plotters of the conspiracy.

“There was a lot of anticipation for the film. We gave it a PG-13 certificate so that families could go and experience a true story that has its nemesis in history,” Singer said.

Releasing Feb 20 in India, the film opened Dec 25 in North America to large collections.

“The film turned out to be better than our expectations in America both reaction-wise and in terms of collections. It’s being counted as one of the hits that released Dec 25. We’ve got some really terrific reviews from Germany too,” said Singer.

“Valkyrie” is releasing in Germany Jan 22 and Singer says he is content with the reaction so far from the locals and the critics there.

“The reaction in Germany is surprise at the level of accuracy in the film, though we weren’t making a documentary. The important thing was getting the truth of the story across in the most engaging way and the response has been phenomenal,” he said.

Nazism is not a new subject for Singer, who is a Jew. His earlier two projects “Apt Pupil” (1998) and “X-Men” (2000) had thematic similarities running through the films.

While the former was based on a young boy’s morbid fascination with a Nazi war criminal, the latter started with an opening sequence of the Jewish concentration camp.

Making “Valkyrie” was an emotional journey for the 43-year-old director.

“Being a Jew myself, making the film at a place which is still haunted by World War II memories was very emotional for me. I was staying just next to BendlerBlock (the firing squad), which is a memorial now and I started imagining myself being associated with the spot,” he said.

Singer also says weaving reality into the 120-minute thriller was not an easy task.

“It was very challenging but at the same time it was a thrilling experience. One of the first things I did was to read ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’ by William Shirer. It helped in giving me a deeper understanding of the world the Nazi conspirators operated inside,” he said.

Singer also met a number of people including “members of the Stauffenberg family” and “Hitler’s former bodyguard” to have an inside perspective into the subject.

Reportedly, Stauffenberg’s son, 72-year-old Berthold Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, was initially against Cruise playing his father in the thriller.

Asked about the Stauffenberg family’s reaction after watching the film, Singer said: “We had two major screenings for the entire Stauffenberg family members across the world. I believe they liked the film because I haven’t got to hear anything negative from them so far.

“I don’t think there were any issues as Stauffenberg’s son willingly participated in the documentary we produced for the History Channel about the subject and the effects this assassination attempt had on German culture.”

Singer’s next project includes the highly anticipated sequel to his 2006 hit “Superman Returns”. The new movie will be called “Superman: Man of Steel”.

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