Branagh Says Valkyrie Compels Despite Historical Fate

Devil is in the details for a historical thriller like Valkyrie.

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Bryan Singer's upcoming historical thriller Valkyrie is about the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler. Since we know it did not succeed, it might seem like a redundant story, but costar Kenneth Branagh assured that the details make it exciting.

"Incredible," says Branagh of Valkyrie's plot, "[Even if] you're completely aware of the outcome -- they didn't succeed -- it nevertheless is this spine-tingler. The closeness, the nearness to changing the course of 20th century history that was averted by where a briefcase was put either side of the wooden leg of a table at the end of another series of quite incredible near misses and coincidences was great."

Tom Cruise plays the would-be assassin. Branagh is his M, or his Jim Phelps if you prefer. "It's about an assassination attempt on Hitler that was attempted by Klaus Von Stauffenberg played by Tom Cruise and recruited by my character Henning von Tresckow. It's a really brilliantly put together thriller."

Having studied the old pictures as part of his research, Branagh vouches for Cruise's authenticity. "Tom Cruise is brilliantly cast. He looks very like him, just by the by, the historical character. I have high hopes of the film."

Valkyrie will be released into theaters August 8, 2008. Sleuth, a remake of the 1972 classic directed by Branagh, opens this Friday in limited release.

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