Tom Cruise to star in film about Hitler


"EVERY SECOND is a door to eternity. The door is opened by perception," said Rumi.

How do a nation's elite rid themselves of a deranged chief executive or commander who is bent on leading the country astray? No, we're not talking here about our own life and times. We're talking Nazi Germany.

United Artists announced last week that Tom Cruise will be starring in a World War II thriller just acquired. But no details as to exactly what that meant. We're here to tell you now.

Movie projects are famous for dragging on, for rewrites, revisions, rethinking. A great project may languish for years. But only a few months ago, writers Chris McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander got together with X-Men director Bryan Singer. They had all worked together on the critically acclaimed movie The Usual Suspects, which starred Kevin Spacey. And then they went to UA with their project titled Valkyrie.

At UA, Bryan met with none other than Cruise and just in the last month, Tom has been set to play the lead as a heroic German colonel, Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, the man who led the "July Plot" to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Singer says: "Originally, Chris and Nathan and I brought the project to UA because it seemed like a good match. UA was founded as an artist-based studio. Tom and Paula Wagner were clearly carrying on the tradition. The film was green-lit quickly. I admit in the back of my mind I always thought Tom would be a great fit for this role, beyond his physical resemblance. We met a few times about production and my desire to offer the part to him crystallized."

This seems to be one of those adventures that happen only rarely. UA will forge ahead and make the movie early this summer because Bryan is set to go ahead on Superman at Warner Bros. The McQuarrie-Alexander script is described as excellent - with suspense, honor, horror, and history all mixed in together. To some of us it will be heroic history, to youngsters it will be a thriller.

Tom and his partner Paula are very positive and excited about their new professional life at UA. They are already working on their first effort there - Lions for Lambs, to star Tom, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, and Robert Redford. The latter also directs.