That image to the right is Cruise trying to figure out when he needs to get to work.

Not so long ago June 27, 2008 was a date occupied by two big movies: Pixar’s Wall-E and Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie. But Universal edged into the game with (the likely to underperform) Wanted, crowing an already tough spot on the calendar. Now United Artists has packed up its summer plans and taken Valkyrie back to October 3rd.

There’ll be a minor deal made out of the move, citing Tom Cruise’s inability to go up against Pixar’s most experimental feature and a (theoretically) summer-ready action flick. But the move really doesn’t read that way.

First, October is a far more suitable spot for Valkyrie. The 3rd is currently held by soft competition Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist* and Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla**. There’s one possible conflict: Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are, slated at one point for the same weekend. Wild Things might be able to co-exist with an attempt on Hitler’s life, but it seems far more likely to slip to 2009 given the issues currently plaguing the visual effects.

Furthermore, with The Dark Knight hitting a couple weeks later than the original release date (July 18th) Valkyrie’s summer days would effectively be numbered unless Singer has crafted a film that departs completely from everything we know to date. (Fox’s X-Files sequel, which hits the week after Batman, could potentially have impacted Singer as well.)

I’m fully ready to be contradicted here by someone like Jeremy Smith, who knows a lot more about studio politicking than I ever will, but this doesn’t feel wrong.

* I’d be more excited about this if it was actually related in some way to The Thin Man. But it does sound almost charming and has Michael Cera as consolation.

**I’d be more excited about this if it wasn’t another gangster picture.