Hollywood heavyweight Tom Cruise has made a name for himself during his illustrious career in films better known for his death-defying stunts. From scaling the Burj Khalifa for Mission Impossible to gripping a moving plane, Cruise has never been one to back away from a challenge. Now, the actor is hoping to prove once and for all that he is in fact out of this world, by filming a movie in space.
Deadline, which first broke the news stated that the almost 60-year-old had partnered up with the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk to produce a film set and filmed outside Earth. The risky motion picture currently has no studio attached, likely because the costs of taking an entire crew and cast out of the orbit will be something astronomical. However, Musk’s involvement certainly makes for an interesting note.
The billionaire started a company called “Space X” as early as 2002 to become one of the earliest space transportation services to allow private citizens to go outside Earth albeit at a hefty price. Now Space X has moved into its first Hollywood venture by working with Cruise.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed the report tweeting: “NASA is excited to work with Tom Cruise on a film aboard the Space Station. We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.”
NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality. pic.twitter.com/CaPwfXtfUv
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 5, 2020
Elon Musk also chipped in, adding: “Should be fun”
What’s revealing about Bridenstine’s comment is it hints at NASA’s Space Station to be the most likely set for the film. Neither NASA nor SpaceX has confirmed SpaceX’s involvement in the film, and the Deadline report didn’t mention the International Space Station (ISS). But the first-ever launch of astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX spacecraft is providing some clues. However, still no mention was made of Cruise or when he might board a spacecraft.
Space films: A combination of time and effort
It is also interesting to note that unlike all of Tom Cruise’s most recent films, this one won’t be part of the Mission Impossible franchise. Cruise’s track record on films other than the Paramount spy series has been spotty with WB’s Rock of Ages and Universal’s Mummy reboot failing to connect with audiences. However, the Mission Impossible films have been consistent hits for Cruise.
Tom Cruise’s most recent film Mission Impossible: Fallout became one of the best-reviewed action films of all time and his highest-grossing film to date. It is no wonder that Cruise wants to keep the momentum going even without the safety of a beloved franchise backing him up.
Cruise is known for meticulously training for his stunts but it will take a long time for him to suit up and go out of our atmosphere given how extensive the procedure is. He is expected to be taught how to wear and move in a spacesuit, adjust to zero gravity, how to get in and out of the capsule, eat food and learn to use a toilet. All of this will require a huge investment so while the film is in early talks it could be that they find no financial backer bold enough to become a studio for the film and invest in hundreds of millions. After all, why go the distance when VFX effects have become as good as the real thing.
Space movies are a costly venture given the size of the sets and effects involved and they don’t always pan out. Ryan Gosling’s First Man and Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra are just a few of the recent examples where audiences just weren’t interested in seeing films about the space. Both ended up as box office slumps. Still, Cruise is known for breaking the mould and there may be possibly enough interest in the masses to see a film shot entirely in space. If the film does connect with audiences worldwide, it would mean that Hollywood might just have found a whole new world to discover.