CATEGORIES Action, Casting, Deals, New Releases, Cannes, Celebrities and Controversy, Box Office, Distribution, The Weinstein Co., Tom Cruise, Movie Marketing, Movie News, UK Box Office, New Releases, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeWhen two movies with similar plots hit theaters around the same time, it usually just reveals the vapidity of Hollywood formula (as was the case when Deep Impact and Armageddon came out a few months apart). The situation changes, however, when the subject matter has far more thematic weight. Defamer's S.T. VanAirsdale points out the potential conflict brewing now that The Weinstein Company has picked up U.S. theatrical, DVD and television rights to the 2004 German film Operation Valykrie, a dramatization of the failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hilter during World War II. Sound familiar? That's because Bryan Singer's upcoming 2009 release, Valkyrie, tells precisely the same story, with Tom Cruise in the role of would-be assassin Col. Claus Von Stauffenberg. In the German movie, the character is played by Sebastian Koch, the debonair star of The Lives of Others and Paul Verhoeven's Black Book.
In addition to the overlapping content, VanAirsdale points out another potential conflict: Koch's female co-star in Black Book, the alluring Carice van Houten, stars opposite Cruise in Valkyrie, creating the sort of meaty overlap that money can buy. Harvey Weinstein's no slouch when it comes to instigating controversy, but his company hasn't exactly had the best of luck with its recent daring titles (few turned out for Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?). Personal drama has impacted Cruise's films before, but this might be the rare case where he would have nothing to do with it.