Shooting began Thursday in a forest outside Berlin on a movie starring Tom Cruise as Germany’s most famous anti-Hitler plotter.
But filmmakers won’t be able to use the former German general staff headquarters, as they had hoped – though the government says that has nothing to do with Cruise’s Scientology beliefs.
Cruise plays Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg in “Valkyrie,” being directed by Bryan Singer (“X-Men.”)
The German government considers Scientology a commercial enterprise that takes advantage of vulnerable people, and some critics maintain that Cruise shouldn’t be playing one of the Nazi era’s few heroes.
Government officials have denied a request for filming at the so-called Bendler Block, where von Stauffenberg was executed by firing squad 63 years ago Saturday.
“We granted all permissions but the one, for the Bendler Block – because the dignity of this place should not be violated,” a government spokesman said, adding: “These circumstances show that the religious beliefs of the actor are without relevance.”
Bon voyage, Mijovi?
Jon Bon Jovi wants the owner of the Mijovi energy drink to change its name, arguing that it’s too similar to his.
He’s also requesting that Mijovi stop using the slogans “itsmijovi” and “itsmilife,” pointing out that one of his most popular songs is titled “It’s My Life.”
Creator Marcos Carrington says his coffee-based energy drink is named after his girlfriend, whose name is Jovita, not the 45-year-old rocker.
Michael goes D.C.
Michael Jackson and his children toured the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space and American Indian museums early Wednesday, before they opened to the public.
At the air and space museum, Jackson lingered over the 1903 Wright Flyer, the first heavier-than-air powered aircraft to make a sustained flight with a pilot aboard.
His children enjoyed robots R2-D2 and C-3PO from the “Star Wars” movies.
Baby’s getting back
Britney Spears has agreed to host the Aug. 31 gala for the opening of the new Vegas club LAX, whose investors include Christina Aguilera and gal pal Nicole Richie‘s former fiance, DJ AM.
It remains to be seen whether Spears will perform – and whether her new single, “Get Back,” will drop this week as rumored.
Too rich, and too thin
Gisele Bundchen is officially the world’s top-earning model, according to Forbes magazine, raking in $33 million last year – more than three times the $9 million of runner-up Kate Moss.
Heidi Klum ($8 million) and Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio ($6 million each) round out the top five.
The birthday bunch
Actress Diana Rigg (“The Avengers”) is 69. Guitarist Carlos Santana is 60. Actress Donna Dixon (“Bosom Buddies”) is 50. Actor Josh Holloway (“Lost”) is 38. Actor John Francis Daley (“Freaks and Geeks”) is 22. Actress Billi Bruno (“According to Jim”) is 11.
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