There have been rumblings throughout the year that Tom Cruise was preparing to shoot a movie in space, in what would be a first both for Hollywood and for space programs. Now, we have a few more details.
The Twitter account for Space Shuttle Almanac said Wednesday that Cruise will launch into space in October of 2021, along with director Doug Liman, Space X pilot Lopez Alegria, and an unknown additional passenger. The crew will fly in Elon Musk’s Axiom SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.
Per Deadline, it’s not clear if the 2021 flight is a preliminary visit to space, or if the movie itself will be shot during that flight.
Deadline had reported back in May that Cruise was working with NASA and Space X on what was described as NASA’s first-ever narrative feature film, described as “an action adventure—to be shot in outer space.” NASA confirmed at the time that NASA was working with Cruise on a film that would be set on the International Space Station.
The film is being produced by the Comcast-owned Universal and has a budget of $200 million, although it’s not known if the overall cost of space travel is included in that figure.
It’s unclear what the movie is called what the plot of it will be, or if it’s based on any particular true events.
The Cruise mission will likely go down as a watershed moment for space tourism, something that Space X has had as part of its mission for much of its existence. NASA, in mid-2019, announced that it would begin allowing tourists to visit the International Space Station, with astronauts allowed to pay $35,000 a night to stay in what could be described as the solar system’s most expensive hotel.
Space X and Boeing both were hired by NASA to handle the flights, per The BBC, and were expected to charge a “taxi fee” of $60 million per flight. Richard Branson of Virgin and Jeff Bezos of Amazon are also billionaires who are competing in the space tourism space, with Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, respectively.
Also this week, per CNBC, a production company called Space Hero announced a reality competition show that promises to send its winner to space by 2023. But at any rate, Tom Cruise is on track to become by far the most famous civilian to ever visit space.
Liman, the director of the project, directed “Swingers,” the first “Bourne Identity” movie, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and the Cruise-starring action picture “Edge of Tomorrow.”
Cruise’s space movie might not be the best one he makes in his career, but there’s a good chance it’ll have the highest degree of difficulty of any movie he’s made.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.