Brad Pitt war movie refuses to shut down for Remembrance Sunday

Locals upset by pre-dawn second world war action sequences on day devoted to remembering soldiers' sacrifices

• Brad Pitt action film asks villagers to ignore gunfire and explosions
• Brad Pitt movie stuntman stabbed with bayonet

Brad Pitt's second world war action film Fury, currently shooting in the Oxfordshire countryside, has sparked complaints after refusing to cancel filming on Remembrance Day.

According to the Daily Mirror, the parish council of nearby Watlington requested filming be suspended for the weekend, but it went ahead.

Council chairman Ian Hill said: "Whoever is responsible is insensitive. A letter has been sent to express our feelings of how inappropriate it was for Sherman tanks to be rolling across the ­countryside while explosions were being let off. Local people are very angry."

Shadow defence minister Kevan Jones called it ­"inappropriate" and ­"outrageous".

Fury, directed by David Ayer, has attracted considerable attention ever since it began shooting in and around the village of Shirburn last month. Producers put leaflets through locals' doors warning of the likelihood of explosions and gunfire in the vicinity, and a stuntman was accidentally stabbed on set with a bayonet.

Extras, some of whom were ex-forces members, were apparently upset at having to film before dawn on Sunday. One was quoted by the mirror as saying: "[Director David Ayer] just charged on ruthlessly filming a movie about American heroism ... and ignoring British ­sensitivities towards Remembrance.

"This was grotesquely disrespectful and offensive. I can't believe I wore an SS uniform on Remembrance Sunday."

The film's producers later released a statement saying they "deeply regret any misunderstandings caused". The statement goes on to say a night shoot was scheduled for the Saturday, and finished at 2am. "The film honours the personal sacrifices of the men that died in World War II, and as writer/director David Ayer explains: 'I have only the deepest esteem for the British military, its storied History and the sacrifices of those who have fallen.'"

My heartfelt apologies for any disrespect on Remembrance Day. I am a veteran myself. It is an honor to film here in the UK.

— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) November 11, 2013

Ayer also followed up with a tweet offering "heartfelt apologies for any disrespect on Remembrance Day".

• Brad Pitt action film asks villagers to ignore gunfire and explosions
• Brad Pitt movie stuntman stabbed with bayonet

Contributor

Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

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