The upcoming, Brad Pitt-starring World War II picture Fury has been filming in the quaint surroundings of the British countryside for a number of weeks already, running into difficulties of varying degrees at different periods throughout filming. Last month, they had to issue a warning to residents of a nearby village of Shirburn, after the local police received calls from concerned citizens upon hearing guns shots and pyrotechnical blasts. Weeks later, a stuntman was injured on set after being stabbed by a bayonet, however the latest hiccup might be the most damaging for the film yet.
Brad Pitt stars in Fury
On Remembrance Sunday (10 Nov.), Britain holds a moment of silence and a day of respect for the fallen soldiers who gave their lives for their country in warfare. It is a sensitive and respected tradition in Britain and one that holds a deep significance in British culture. Sadly, this means nothing to the director of Fury, who, despite knowing full well the importance of the date, decided to shoot war scenes and scenes including Nazi soldiers anyway.
To make matters worse, Ayers apparently continued to film on Sunday despite receiving pleas from the same villagers he had kept awake with the film's explosions, asking him to respect Remembrance Sunday. According to the Daily Mirror, the parish council of nearby Watlington requested filming be suspended for the weekend, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. The decision to continue filming has been described as "inappropriate" and "outrageous" by Shadow defence minister Kevan Jones, and prompted Watlington council chairman Ian Hill to release this statement on behalf of the townspeople:
"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."
Pitt and co-star Shia LaBeouf on set in the English countryside
It isn't local people are angry though, as Britons across the country have voiced their outrage towards, including a number of disgraced extras who were made to film on Sunday.
“[Ayers] just charged on ruthlessly filming a movie about American heroism, not for the first time, and ignoring British sensitivities towards Remembrance. This was grotesquely disrespectful and offensive. I can’t believe I wore an SS uniform on Remembrance Sunday," one extra told the Mirror. “But this is what I do and I cannot just walk off set for the sake of a principle, especially in this economic climate.”
The studio have since issued an apology for disrespecting the traditional day of remembrance and Ayer himself has tweeted an apology, although people are still, understandably, upset at what happened. The statement from the film studio, and a follow-up tweet from Ayer, has stated that they were filming a night shoot on Saturday night, which lasted until 2 am in the morning. Both insist they meant no disrespect when they continued to film into Sunday.
The film is out next year