Two particular-interest quotes are contained in Michael Ceiply and Mark Landler‘s N.Y. Times piece (Saturday, 6.30) about the standoff/ contretemps between Tom Cruise and German military officials over their opposition to Cruise playing Col. Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, the German Army officer who led a plot to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944, in Bryan Singer‘s soon-to-shoot Valkyrie.
Quote #1 is from German journalist Josef Joffe: “Stauffenberg for Germans is like Jefferson and Lincoln, motherhood, and apple pie all rolled into one. Germany is a country of established churches, and so Scientology is viewed as a cult and, worse, totalitarian and exploitative. A professing Scientologist in the role of Stauffenberg is like casting Judas as Jesus. It is secular blasphemy.”
Quote #2 is Singer saying “frankly, I was not aware of the issue of Scientology here in Germany.” What’s the point of saying this, even if it’s true? It makes Singer look clueless, which is he’s never been and never will be. Official German animus towards Scientology has been a fairly well-reported position for several years. Here’s a January 2002 BBC report stating that Cruise “has been lobbying officials in Germany over the country’s strong stance against Scientology.” It’s not credible of Singer or any purportedly aware industry person to claim ignorance of this issue, particularly one who’s about to make a film with Cruise in Germany.