HomeEntertainmentTom Cruise and Russia Were in a Modern-Day Space Race, Russia Won

Tom Cruise and Russia Were in a Modern-Day Space Race, Russia Won

by Taylor Cunningham
Tom Cruise
(Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Cruise and Russia were in a race to film the first movie in space, and Russia officially crossed the finish line first.

As CNN reports, the country released a cinematic trailer for The Challenge, which crews allegedly filmed in 2021.

The story follows a young female surgeon named Zhenya, played by Yulia Peresild, as she heads into the cosmos to perform emergency surgery on a cosmonaut when he falls ill in a space station and can’t make the trip back to Earth. Oleg Novitskiy, a real cosmonaut, plays the patient.

Try Paramount+ FREE for a week. Subscribe here to watch your favorite shows.

A state-controlled television station called Channel One Russia produced The Challenge along with Yellow, Black and White studio and Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos.

The actress traveled into the cosmos with producer-director Klim Shipenko and spent 12 days shooting the movie from the International Space Station (ISS), which is orbiting 250 miles above Earth, with the help of Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov.

The movie was filmed with the hopes of popularizing the country’s “space activities” and glorifying the “cosmonaut profession,” according to a statement by a movie rep.

Tom Cruise Announced Plans for a Space-Based Film in 2020

In 2020, Tom Cruise announced his plans or creating the first movie filmed in space. At that time, he had already partnered with director Doug Liman, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and NASA. They, too, were going to shoot the movie on ISS.

Because Cruise was busy with several other projects and dealing with the COVID pandemic, he didn’t immediately nail down a filming schedule. The actor did not release any information about the plot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A few months after Cruise made his announcement, Russia quietly posted a casting call for an actress to star in a space-based movie. Pereslid nailed a taped audition. Then, the government ran some psychological and physical tests on her to ensure she could handle space travel.

The process began in November 2020, and filming commenced less than a year later in October of 2021.

Tom Cruise has yet to give his thoughts on the situation. He also hasn’t shared updates on whether or not his project is still in the works. Currently, he’s busy filming his final Mission Impossible installment.

The Challenge is slotted to debut on April 20. According to CNN, the project’s production had a budget of 1.115 billion roubles, which is equivalent to 14,684,550,000 U.S. dollars.