When a film gets delayed by several months on one occasion, it’s suspicious but explainable. When it happens twice though, there’s obviously something going on.
Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie”, a Tom Cruise-led WW2 thriller based on a real life plot by German officers to assassinate Hitler, was originally slated to open June 27th this year.
Then United Artists delayed the film a little over three months to October 2nd, citing that the movie isn’t really a Summer blockbuster and is better suited for the Fall. The delay also allowed for further filming of a big North Africa battle scene which begins shooting next month.
Now though, it’s been revealed that the film has been delayed again – this time a little over four months – to February 13th 2009.
Officially, the reason for the move was to quickly capitalize on the highly profitable and currently empty President’s Day Weekend. Both comedy sequel “The Pink Panther” and horror thriller “The Wolf Man” were originally scheduled for that weekend, but got moved to different dates in the past few days.
This leaves only the Disney rom-com “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and the remake of “Friday the 13th” as the only competition – both targeting quite different demographics to the more adult-themed “Valkyrie.”
MGM President Clark Woods says “Having seen a lot of the film and how great it is going to play once it’s finished, moving into a big holiday weekend is the right move.”
Whilst UA has applauded the move, it puts additional pressure on “Valkyrie” to perform. Since the Cruise/Wagner reign over UA began, the hope was to produce around 3-4 films a year. So far only one has been produced, the critically and financially disappointing “Lions for Lambs”.
Despite having several projects in development, “Valkyrie” will be the company’s second release – and that’s even with the new date.