Bryan Singer's Second World War drama Valkyrie is on track to becomethe second large-scale US production this year after the Wachowskibrothers' Speed Racer to shoot at Germany's Babelsberg Studios.

Principal photographyon the United Artists production about the 1944 plot to assassinateHitler is expected to commence at the studios outside Berlin on July19.

Tom Cruise is being lined up to play Claus Schenk Graf vonStauffenberg in a cast which already reportedly includes KennethBranagh, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Daniel Bruehl.

The fact that the production will be coming to Babelsberg next monthwas underscored by the fact that a Berlin casting agency is organisinga casting call this coming weekend (June 16 and 17) in Berlin for maleextras aged 18-50 to play German soldiers in the historical drama.

Moreover, a spokeswoman at the Babelsberg Studios confirmed to theGerman daily newspaper Die Welt that talks are currently underwaybetween the US producers for the studio to come onboard the project asa co-producer. This would then make it possible for Valkyrie to accesslocal production funds in the same way as Speed Racer.

The Wachowski action film, which has been structured as a German-UKco-production between two single purpose vehicles - Babelsberg SechsteFilm and Velocity Productions - was able to tap Euros 9m support fromthe recently created German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) and has alsosubmitted a funding application to the German Federal Film Board (FFA)and FFF Bayern.

The Babelsberg Studios are also set to host Stefan Ruzowitzky's familyentertainment Lilly The Witch (Hexe Lilli) and Jaco van Dormael's MrNobody later this year.