While the German government long ago named acting legend and adult-contemporary pop idol David Hasselhoff its Honorary Chancellor for Cultural Affairs in recognition of his many contributions to the arts, it has largely ignored the work of onetime international megastar Tom Cruise because of his controversial association with Scientology, a faith they narrow-mindedly refuse to recognize as an official religion, even though it has provided many generous American celebrities with a safe place in which to charitably invest their excess wealth. In addition to this ongoing and profound institutional slight, the government is now refusing to allow Cruise's latest movie, Valkyrie, the story of a WWII plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, to film at their military sites, denying exacting director Bryan Singer the Teutonic verisimilitude required to properly execute his cinematic vision:
The U.S. actor has been cast as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, leader of the unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the Nazi dictator in July 1944 with a bomb hidden in a briefcase.
Defense Ministry spokesman Harald Kammerbauer said the film makers "will not be allowed to film at German military sites if Count Stauffenberg is played by Tom Cruise, who has publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult".
"In general, the Bundeswehr (German military) has a special interest in the serious and authentic portrayal of the events of July 20, 1944 and Stauffenberg's person," Kammerbauer said.
We fear that the German government's lingering prejudices have clouded their judgment in this matter, basing their hasty decision on an early treatment developed by Cruise, in which his von Stauffenberg character attempts to slowly kill Hitler by depriving him of the many self-actualizing services offered by Scientology, causing the Fuhrer to die from the despair of knowing he'd never reach his potential as a fully clear leader without the help of daily auditing sessions. The project has since been turned over to respected Usual Suspects writer Chris McQuarrie for a more action-packed and historically accurate script, which should calm the Bundeswehr's fears about the authentic portrayal of the protagonist.