We’re talking about literal outer space, like outside of the International Space Station.
News is spreading like wildfire that Tom Cruise is set to be the first actor to shoot a movie in outer space, but we need to clarify things. In May 2020, the idea was floated around. He’s supposed to team up with NASA and Elon Musks’ SpaceX. The plan is to send him to the International Space Station to film a new movie.
Details, Details. The Russians Did Something Similar — But Tom Cruise Can Still Top It
However, it turns out that a Russian actress has beaten him to the punch with filming in outer space. 38-year-old Yulia Peresild, a professional stage and film actress from Russia, was launched into space in October of 2021. Accompanying her were director Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy.
The trio left the Earth on October 5, 2021, via the Soyuz MS-19, and left the ISS on October 17, 2021, via the Soyuz MS-18. They spent a total of 11 days, 22 hours, and 13 minutes in space. This made for about 35 to 40 minutes of production time.
Their movie is called The Challenge and is set to be released in Russian theaters on April 12, 2023.
The BBC called The Challenge’s mission “its own kind of space race – with Tom Cruise.”
Now that we’ve cleared that bit of misinformation, we can talk about Tom Cruise. He indeed is fearless, hunky, and, well, cool. But in fact, a woman (who is an actress) filmed a movie in outer space, at the International Space Station, last October. This time last year, she was physically hanging out in the ISS, filming the first movie to be shot in outer space.
Tom Cruise Might Be the First Civilian to Do a Spacewalk Outside of the ISS
Back to that “space race.” One thing the United States and Russia are very adept at is attempting to outdo each other when it comes to outer space.
What Tom Cruise might do — and it doesn’t seem that his Russian counterpart Yulia Peresild did this — is actually leave the International Space Station. Further, he intends to do some filming outside, in a spacesuit.
BBC News Culture Editor Katie Razzall sat down with Donna Langley, the Chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, to get more insight into this seemingly impossible mission.
“There have been reports that Universal and Tom Cruise are going to collaborate together on a $200 million space adventure shot on the International Space Station. Are you taking Tom Cruise to space?” asked Razzall.
We’re Talking Actually Shooting In Outer Space, Outside the ISS
“I think Tom Cruise is taking us to space,” responded Langley. “He’s taking the world to space. But… yeah, that’s the plan. We have a great project in development with Tom that does contemplate him doing just that, yeah. Taking a rocket up to the space station and shooting. And hopefully being the first civilian to do a spacewalk outside of the space station.
“I don’t know if the film is going to cost $200 million. We haven’t got that far yet.”
As Razzall pointed out, a mission to outer space may cost much more than $200 million.
Langley also said that Cruise himself was the man with the original idea. She said that he first talked about it with Universal over a Zoom call. She said that the plot primarily centers around being on planet Earth, but that the protagonist (Cruise) needs to go to outer space for a brief moment to save the day.
Tom Cruise Does His Own Stunts: Will He Outdo Himself Yet Again?
Cruise has done some frightening stunts in the past. He’s scaled the world’s tallest building for Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol did a frighteningly high cliff jump in Mission: Impossible II, and actually dangled from the side of a moving airplane in Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.
If that isn’t enough, Cruise also put in extensive effort to become a professionally trained helicopter and fighter plane pilot to pull off stunts in Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible Fallout.
So, is it really that farfetched to imagine Cruise being the first civilian to do a spacewalk? Not really. Let’s just hope that Russia doesn’t beat us to it again. Because topping that might actually be impossible.