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War magician-Maskelyne and Cruise?

Discussion in 'WWII Films & TV' started by Kai-Petri, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The original idea was to put Cruise in the main role but he has decided not to take it?

    3rd December 2001

    Tom Cruise will develop a British accent for a new film about a Second World War magician.

    He is lined up to star in The War Magician.

    It is based on the true story of an entertainer who baffled Germans in North Africa with his illusions.

    Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner have hired Jurassic Park 3 writer Peter Buchman to prepare a script.

    5th September 2003

    The film was originally set up as a starring
    vehicle for Cruise, but he plans to limit himself to producer at this point.

    http://www.thezreview.co.uk/comingsoon/w/warmagicianthe.htm

    ---------------

    [​IMG]

    Jasper Maskelyne

    In 1930s Britain, Maskelyne was a star magician, and, when the Second World War broke out, his sleight of hand techniques came in useful during the campaign to beat the German army in north Africa. The Channel 4 programme, Magic at War, part of the Secret History series, tells the astonishing story of how one magician helped defeat Rommel.

    In January 1941, General Wavell, commander of British forces in north Africa, created a unit called A Force, which was dedicated to counter-intelligence and deception.

    Maskelyne was posted to A Force, where he was able to apply his skills to the task of concealing British forces from German aerial reconnaissance. He assembled a 14-strong group, known informally as the Magic Gang, whose members had had careers in analytical chemistry, electrical engineering and stage set construction.

    In 1941, Maskelyne was involved in an elaborate operation which diverted German bombers from the port of Alexandria by setting up a fake harbour in a nearby bay; this involved constructing dummy buildings, a dummy lighthouse and even dummy anti-aircraft batteries which fired thunderflashes. He also made it hard for German bombers to locate the Suez Canal by fitting searchlights with a revolving cone of mirrors, producing a dazzling wheel of spinning light beams nine miles across.

    Maskelyne's crowning achievement came in 1942 with his involvement in Operation Bertram, prior to the battle of El Alamein, which turned the tide against the Germans in north Africa.

    The attack was to take place near the coast, at the northern end of the German line. Accordingly, at the north of the line 1,000 tanks were camouflaged as lorries, while 30 miles south 2,000 fake tanks were assembled, complete with explosive special effects. To support the illusion, a fake railway line was built; there were even fake radio broadcasts and sound effects to mimic the noise of construction.

    Crucially, a fake water pipeline was built to supply the simulated armies. Its progress could easily be tracked from the air by German planes: the trick was to convince the Germans that it would not be ready, and therefore that no attack could begin.

    After El Alamein, the Magic Gang disbanded; there were no further wartime coups for Maskelyne. He received no decoration or honour in recognition of the part he played; official accounts of the war in north Africa made little or no mention of him. Already a published author – his 1936 book White Magic told the story of his family – Maskelyne told his side of the story in his 1949 memoir, Magic: Top secret.

    http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/R/real_lives/jasper.html
     
  2. No.9

    No.9 Ace

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    Wonder if they'll mention Dudley-Clarke who commanded A Force? And drew-up the original format for the Commandos, and named them, and used the term 'SAS' for his fictitious paratroop brigade in N. Africa which was subsequently given to Stirling to compound the deception?

    No.9
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I guess this will not be filmed, at least not with Tom Cruise....
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Cruise wants to be Stauffenberg...(?)

    "Tom Cruise is set to star in an untitled thriller based on an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler at the height of World War II. Cruise had not intended to star in the project, which was acquired last week by his United Artists banner. However, during subsequent meetings, the project’s director, Bryan Singer, became intrigued by the notion of Cruise as a central figure in the story and offered him the role. Cruise signed on Tuesday. Production is scheduled to begin early this summer. MGM will distribute. Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander wrote the script. Singer and McQuarrie previously teamed on the Oscar-winning thriller “The Usual Suspects.”

    http://www.hecklerspray.com/tom-cruise-is-hitler-or-wants-to-kill-hitler-or-something/20067569.php
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Stauffenberg it was then....
     
  6. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Cruise is a movie star rather than a actor, much like John Wayne was in his day. In essence he portray's a version of himself as that character. Unlike some one like Tom Hanks or Gary Oldman who seems to become the person they are playing. That being said I don't think he was terrible in the role, just not remarkable as Oldman in Darkest Hour or Hanks in Sully.
     
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  7. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    i would refute that to some extent...I think Cruise as a person is a joke...just enough intelligence to be dangerous.
    But as an actor I think he borders on brilliant. His movie choices have been mainly same same...that's his bread and butter. But he has shown over the years he is more than capable of taking on roles that don't resemble him as a person. I could give a number of examples, but just looking at "War of the worlds" where he plays a two bit dock worker who has limited fathering skills...basically a single dude making the best of a bad situation with his kids was brilliant. For me, its all about the nuance...the slight facial expression, the slight tone in the voice...he excels with this.
    He has ruined some movies by being in them (Jack Reacher most notably for me). But he was massively miss cast for this...the author wanted it to be a success so banked on Cruise - but the character he was playing (Reacher) is supposed to be 6'4 and over 250 pounds...a scary MOFO. Not surprisingly Cruise did not pull this off. The biggest reason he doesn't work anymore as an actor is he is too famous...like a number of actors, the viewer doesn't see the character but says "oh look, its Tom Cruise".
    An example of difference is Tropic Thunder...the character largely Cruise's idea...he did something like 6 weeks of hip hop training so he knew how to do it badly (like a fat balding middle aged man would do it)


    And who could forget...

    "Instead of a hundred million, I send you a hobo's dick cheese?"

    PS I think Hanks and Oldman are brilliant too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020

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