You already knew that if you had to pick one action start to assassinate the Nazi high command, Tom Cruise is the easy choice. But you may not have know some of the amazing details about Valkyrie.
1. A Memorial Inspired the Film
Co-screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie found the inspiration Valkyrie while vacationing in Berlin in 2002. During a tour of the Bendlerblock—the HQ of the German resistance, which is now a museum—a guide showed him the memorial erected to Claus von Stauffenberg and the July 20th co-conspirators.
2. Tom Cruise Was Perfect For His Part
3. But He Needed a German Coach
Cruise received pronunciation advice on his German lines at the beginning of the film from the Oscar-winning director of The Lives of Others and The Tourist, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Donnersmarck is a German-born friend of Valkyrie director Bryan Singer.
4. First Things Came Last
The African Campaign sequence at the beginning of the film was actually shot last. The scene was added after principal photography was complete because the filmmakers wanted to give context to Stauffenberg’s motives, and didn’t want the audience to think he helped initiate the coup because of the injuries suffered during the war. Singer scouted locations in Jordan and Spain for the scene, but it was ultimately shot in the Mojave Desert in California.
5. Cruise Ran Afoul of the German Government
The German government initially banned the production from shooting on location in Berlin because of Tom Cruise’s ties to Scientology – Germany does not recognize Scientology as a religion.
6. Claus von Stauffenberg’s Real Grandson Is in the Film
He plays the aid to Major General Treschow.
7. Pay Close Attention to the Hospital
The hospital where Cruise’s character recovers following his injuries wasn’t a set. The production renovated an actual period German military hospital where Adolf Hitler himself convalesced after gas attack injuries suffered during World War I.
8. All the Airplanes, Cars, Trucks, and Artillery Are Legit
They’re actual 1940s period pieces, not CGI.