Following the debut of the new, better-than-expected trailer for Tom Cruise’s upcoming eye patched–Nazi adventure Valkyrie three weeks ago, MGM is in the midst of an ambitious and optimistic marketing campaign to clear up any misconceptions people might have about the movie: “Let’s face it, there was a time when the movie wasn’t on track; it is now,” an anonymous tipster tells today’s Times, as studio insiders claim they’re “successfully repositioning the film as a character-driven suspense thriller” instead of the “hilarious madcap Nazi comedy” that we always had it pegged for.
And how are they accomplishing this? By aggressively downplaying the involvement of Tom Cruise, of course! Billboards for the movie surround “a barely recognizable figure of Mr. Cruise” with five other actors, and feature the ensemble-highlighting tagline, “The conspiracy begins this December.” New online promotions for the movie have put greater emphasis on its director, Brian Singer. Also, that new trailer — in which a certain lead actor does appear, despite the finest efforts of its editors, we’re sure — makes extensive use of newly shot battle-scene footage of Cruise without his hilarious eye patch. And with Valkyrie’s release still more than a month away, MGM should have just enough time to change the film’s title and digitally replace all its Nazis with wisecracking Chihuahuas.