The German government has done an about-face and decided to let the makers of Valkyrie, the Tom Cruise starrer about the failed 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler, use the original site where the officers behind the conspiracy were executed, according to Variety.
Thorsten Albig, a spokesman for the finance ministry, told Bild newspaper there had been a change of heart about allowing the filmmakers to shoot at the Bendlerblock, where plot leader Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and several of his co-conspirators were killed shortly after the bomb they planted injured but failed to kill the Nazi leader on July 20, 1944.
The finance ministry is responsible for all property owned by the federal government, including the Bendlerblock, which is now a memorial and national German shrine.
"The latest request by the film team was given a positive answer," Albig said. "There was a different feeling about the project. We will take a closer look with director Bryan Singer at the location and, while ensuring that the dignity of the shrine is protected, see what's possible and what's not."
Variety goes on to say that the defense ministry had raised objections earlier this year because of bad experiences with film crews in recent years who had set up their equipment -- and catering trucks -- at the location. There also had been concerns raised in German newspapers, fuelled by protests by von Stauffenberg's son, about whether Cruise was fit for the role. The initial rejection of the request to film at the Bendlerblock had sparked a wave of support for the film from leading German newspaper columnists and filmmakers, including Wolfgang Petersen. They admonished their countrymen for being small minded, ignoring the chance to share von Stauffenberg's story with a global audience and demonstrate that there was in fact resistance to Hitler.