The saga of Bryan Singer's Valkyrie, the Tom Cruise-as-Hitler-stalking -Nazi-infidel project that we frequently need to remind ourselves is an actual movie, and not just an improbable plot point in James Frey's Bright Shiny Morning—is not one for the fainthearted. From a location shoot hindered by a cult-leery, swastika-averse German government—to an ongoing round of musical release-dates that most recently positioned its opening for December 26, 1857, a safe 40 years before the invention of movie projectors—this is not what you call a sinking studio's dream project. Now Deadline Hollywood Daily notes that 11 Nazi soldier extras who fell out of a truck during filming last summer are suing United Artists for $11 million. (That's one million per Nazi, for those not schooled in the Third Reich-championed Hitler Math.) From Spiegel Online:
The accident happened almost exactly one year ago and saw all 11, still wearing their Wehrmacht uniforms, sent to the hospital with an array of injuries, ranging from bumps and bruises to broken ribs and pulled ligaments. One extra was kept in the hospital for four days on suspicion of internal injuries.
The actors fell onto the street when a fold-down side-rail on the bed of the truck — against which the thespians were leaning — failed. The group's lawyer, Ariane Bluttner, says that United Studios knew that the trucks used in the filming were not entirely safe. "The studio knew the trucks were rickety," Bluttner told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "There had even been an internal memo about the railings."After representatives from Merrill Lynch determined that the "United Studios" referenced in the article was in fact United Artists, the investment firm interceded to curtail the disbursement of their precious Street funds to grimy Nazi extras. A tersely worded statement from Harry Sloan is expected by noon, beginning, "We would like to clarify a matter in the media that at all of our trucks carrying Nazi extras were soundly assembled and that any injuries were incurred by plain old German drunkenness."
- Nazi Extras Sue Tom Cruise's Film Studio for $11 Million [Spiegel Online via Deadline Hollywood Daily]