Tom Cruise's "Valkerie" has seen quite a bit of drama during the production phase. There were reports of extras being hurt on the set during filming, and the German government originally didn't want anything to do with Tom Cruise because he belongs to the "Church" of Scientology.
And now that the film is finally in theaters, the off-screen drama continues.
OK, here's how the story goes:
Back during World War II, Hitler used a globe for planning his U boat attacks, second guessing his invasion of the Soviet Union and probably spinning around really fast just like the rest of us do when no one is watching.
When Hitler's stronghold was captured by the allies, one of the GIs grabbed the globe as a keepsake, which he held onto for several decades. The globe was then picked up by art collector and advertising guy Robert Pritikin for the garage sale price of $100,000. Pritikin is probably best known as the guy who wrote the jingle for "Rice-A-roni." Quite a claim to fame, I guess. Apparently Pritikin owns several Nazi artifacts, something he claims he does to prevent them from being purchased by neo-nazi groups and used as propaganda.
And now that there is a big movie about Hitler staring Tom Cruise, who just happens to have a few scenes where Hitler is seen with a globe...suddenly there is a lawsuit by Pritikin claiming copyright infringement.
ITS A GLOBE! Not entirely unlike the one pictured here. How can you copyright the likeness of a globe?
"Tom Cruise's use of the globe's likeness without our client's permission was likely just an oversight," Says investigator Dan Hanks, who was retained by Pritikin. "We're confident this will all be quickly resolved out of court."
Of course, they wouldn't mind if Cruise decided to just purchase the globe and other artifacts and donate them to the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance. "It would be a hell of a way for Tom Cruise to save the day for United Artists and be a real-life hero." Says investigator Dan Hanks.
This smells a little like the story we did recently about the city of Batman, Turkey suing Warner Bros. for infringement of their name.
How is this not extortion?