Valkyrie, the movie where Tom Cruise inexplicably attempts to make his box office comeback as a kooky Nazi officer attempting to kill Hitler with some luggage, has seen its release date pushed back from October to February.
The signs are clear – by releasing Valkyrie so close to the Oscars, Tom Cruise has effectively admitted he doesn't stand a chance of winning an Oscar for it. A shame, since 2009 sees the launch of the Academy's inaugural Best One-Eyed Nazi Played By A Fading Egotist With Downright Odd Religious Beliefs trophy. Still, at least now Mel Gibson has a clear run at the prize with his upcoming role in The Fantastical Contraptions Of Professor Baron Von Cyclops.
Although Tom Cruise has everything that all men dream of – his own movie studio, a wife who's never displayed a single drop of emotion and more car crash skills than trained paramedics – he hasn't really got anything approaching a film career right now.
After his increasingly bewildering behaviour kicked the legs out from underneath Mission: Impossible III, Tom has struggled to make films again. Sumner Redstone sacked Tom from Paramount because he was so weird, and then the big Tom Cruise comeback movie Lions For Lambs died a violent death at the box office because only about four people went to to see it, and three walked out halfway through when they realised it wasn't actually about lambs.
And that means that Tom Cruise has banked everything he's got on Valkyrie, the movie where Tom Cruise tries to kill Hitler by adopting a spookily similar haircut, or something. Making it was a brave move because a) people dislike Tom Cruise, b) people dislike war films and c) it was directed by the man behind Superman Returns, which was shit.
Factor in a couple of production problems, like some injured extras and the way that Germany banned Tom Cruise because he's so weird and the whole thing looks so uphill that it's bound to be doomed to failure. But if anyone can make Valkyrie a success, then it's Tom Cruise, right?
Maybe not. Now the latest bad news to hit Valkyrie is that its prime Oscar-friendly October release date has been shoved back to the conclusively Oscar unfriendly month of February. The LA Times reports:
"'United Artists and MGM have pushed back the release of Bryan Singer’s Tom Cruise starrer Valkyrie from Oct 3 to Feb 13,' reports Variety. That means the studios are diminishing the high Oscar expectations surrounding the Nazi thriller that previously had an awards-friendly release date. Smart move…. At this point in his fragile career, Cruise just needs to crank out a successful film taken seriously by film critics and movie-goers. Oscar voters can wait."
Great, Friday the 13th. That'll instill a whole lot of confidence in Tom Cruise, we're sure.
But let's be serious, Valkyrie hasn't been shunted back to any old February opening – it's going to be MGM's showcase movie for Presidents Day weekend. You know, Presidents Day. The weekend that Jumper did quite well at this year. And Ghost Rider the previous year. Come on, you must know – it's the weekend where movie studios put out summer films that clearly aren't good enough to be released in the actual summer.
So Tom Cruise has lost all hopes of Oscar glory, plus his studio is showing signs of losing faith with his movie, but people are still going to go an watch Valkyrie in their millions, right?
Actually, we're not so sure about that either. Let's not forget that this new Valkyrie release date clashes with the Super Pet Expo in King Of Prussia, PA. And given the choice between subjecting yourself to yet another insufferable Tom Cruise ego fluff or an afternoon spent looking at a cuddly little puppies, what would you do?