Quentin Tarantino

Paul Fenton/ZUMAPress.com

Quentin Tarantino is entering Tom Cruise territory.

A script of the director's star-studded, soon-to-film WWII epic Inglorious Bastards was leaked to the German press this week, drawing ire from the nation's media and kicking up a controversy that could reach Valkyrie-level proportions.

The backlash primarily concerns scenes showing Jewish-American soldiers scalping, shooting, strangling and otherwise gorily dispatching Nazi soldiers.

"All the German historians and critics who were left gasping for breath by Tom Cruise and his worthy attempts will be so shocked by Inglorious Bastards that they will savage it on the spot," opines Tobias Kneibe, film editor of Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, of the film that stars Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Simon Pegg and Mike Myers.

Kneibe, who qualified his critique by saying that he actually enjoyed the potentially offensive material, added that "the collision between Tarantino-style pop culture with the themes of the Holocaust and Jewish revenge (the 'Bastards' of the film are Jewish-American Nazi hunters) is unprecedented in Germany and its results are completely unpredictable."

Unpredictable, that is, in exactly how poorly the film will be received by German critics and audiences.

The long-gestating film revolves around both the rag-tag band of eight Jewish American soldiers, led by Southern rebel Pitt, as they exact revenge on Nazis in German-occupied France, with each soldier bent on capturing 100 Nazi scalps apiece. It also follows a French girl's personal revenge on Nazis, with the two storylines eventually converging.

While Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill and Joseph Goebbels are all written into the script, accounts that the film isn't overly concerned with historical accuracy seem unanimous.

The Weinstein Company and Universal are coproducing the film, which is expected to film almost entirely in Germany, making it eligible for state financing—another sticking point, as if one were needed, for offended nationalists.

Shooting begins in Berlin on Oct. 13.

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