Tom Cruise Gets Outgunned in Race to Film in Space

by Josh Lanier

Tom Cruise will film a movie in space later this year, but it won’t be the first out-of-this-world production. Another terrestrial star will shoot in outer space first.

Russia recently sent actors, producers, and a director, along with a willing cosmonaut into space to film space’s first commercial film, the New York Post said. Yulia Peresild, 37, director Klim Shipenko, 38, and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, 49, will film a show called The Challenge while aboard the International Space Station.

Tom Cruise wanted to be the first to shoot a film in space. He will shoot a movie with director Doug Liman there later this year. Cruise worked with NASA and SpaceX to get the project off the ground. They are all systems go, but Tuesday’s launch ended their hopes of acting where no man has acted before. Unless you count this music video from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, which I do.

The Russians will be in space for 12 days to shoot and produce The Challenge. The premise follows a doctor that goes to the ISS to save the life of a cosmonaut on board, the Post said. Some speculate that Russia rushed the production to beat Cruise to the title.

For instance, the Russian actors were sent to an accelerated four-month boot camp of sorts to teach them how to survive in space. It’s the same classes cosmonauts take, though they spend years in training.

“Of course, this is very fast,” director Shipenko told Reuters. “We had a lot of theory, practice, endurance, sports — everything imaginable. It seems to me, this is a rather feasible task…” 

Cruise announced his movie in May, which is about when the Russians would have started their training.

Tom Cruise Got Space Film Greenlit With Single Zoom Call

Tom Cruise hasn’t given away many details about his upcoming project. But he brought together the worlds of NASA, SpaceX, and Hollywood to make it happen. And it was all approved with just a single Zoom call, Deadline reported.

They’re expected to begin shooting the $200 million project before the end of the year.

Along with Doug Liman, Christopher McQuarrie, who directed Tom Cruise in the most recent Mission Impossible films, will supervise from mission control. Elon Musk will also be a partner in the project.

Former NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said films like these will help get the next generation of scientists excited about space.

Liman and Cruise worked together on Edge of Tomorrow and American Made, but they’re also both pilots, which makes them suited for the dangers of this kind of project. Plus, Cruise makes headlines for his crazy stunts in and out of movies. In Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, that’s actually Tom Cruise hanging from the side of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. You can see how they filmed that scene here.