Cruise under fire over Hitler film
The Hollywood A-lister and star of Mission: Impossible and War Of The Worlds is lined up to play Colonel Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg, who famously attempted to kill the Nazi leader during the second world war.
Directed by X-Men's Bryan Singer, who also brought Superman to the big screen last year, the film is entitled Valkyrie and is posited as a historical account of the incident.
However, Cruise's well-known background as a follower of Scientology is thought to be a potential problem for some officials, particularly as Germany does not consider the organisation a religion and classes it as a commercial group.
Indeed, some critics argue that the writings of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard echo some of the tenets upon which Hitler's own ideology was based, as Ursula Caberta, director of a group which studies Scientology, claimed.
"If you analyse L Ron Hubbard and his writings, you will see that he is advancing the idea of a totalitarian state," she commented.
However, the head of the German company behind the film, Carl Woebcken, played down the furore, adding that those politicians who had lobbied to prevent filming taking place in parts of Berlin were simply out to make a name for themselves.
"Basically, some politicians are using the popularity of Tom Cruise to become popular themselves," he commented.
Valkyrie is expected to open in 2008.
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