Just the other day we talked about the difference between ‘additional photography’ and ‘reshoots.’ Many movies benefit from additional photography, and just because the cast and crew regather to pick up a couple of extra shots or tinker with a scene doesn’t mean the film is in trouble.
Of course we already think that Valkyrie, the movie where Tom Cruise plays a one eyed Nazi who tries to kill Hitler, is in trouble. The movie has been bounced all over the schedule, from a summer berth to a prestigious fall awards-baiting slot and finally to the dumping grounds of February, the first Tom Cruise movie to open there in years. Add to that all the scuttlebutt behind the scenes of things not going well and Beaks’ very unflattering script review, you have a movie whose prospects seem possibly dim.
So what to make of reshoots? According to the ‘blog’ of Variety editor Peter Bart*, Valkyrie will be shooting ‘three scenes in North Africa within the next three weeks. In one, his character, Col. Claus Von Stauffenberg, is badly injured but survives, a key moment in the film’s first act.’
I’ve been hearing that director Bryan Singer has been beefing up the North Africa stuff – maybe due to complaints that the film isn’t that exciting? – so this doesn’t sound like it’s a disaster. What is funny, though, is the spin that Bart delivers in his ‘blog': ‘Although the film has yet to be completed, several people I trust have seen “Valkyrie” and testify that it’s a superb thriller. “Bryan Singer is back in form,” says one source, referring to the “Valkyrie” director whose last film was “Superman Returns.”‘
Anybody seeing a movie at this stage of the game isn’t going to be an uninterested observer, if you know what I mean. Sure, Bart trusts these people, but so does United Artists. Believe me, no one would rather see this movie be surprisingly good – I like Tom Cruise despite his insane cult beliefs, and I have been pushing for Bryan Singer to get his nose out of comics for years now. I just don’t like what I’m reading in these tea leaves.
*motherfucker doesn’t even e-mail. He has people print out e-mails and hand deliver them. He’s got a computer in his office that I’m told he never, ever uses. I’m sure he’s dictating these blogs to someone, or writing them out in fucking cuneiform.