For the past century, whenever a movie has gone to outer space, Hollywood’s has relied on special effects. Not anymore.
This week, Tom Cruise negotiated
a deal with NASA to film in orbit aboard the International Space Station. The news was announced
on Twitter by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, who hopes the film will “inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.”
is reportedly a feature-length action film. No other details have been announced yet, but we can confirm it’s not going to be a Mission: Impossible sequel. The film isn’t attached to a studio yet. All we know is that it’s going to be the first-ever feature film shot in space.
The news is an unprecedented collaboration
between Hollywood, NASA, and Elon Musk’s private spaceflight company SpaceX, which will be providing transportation to the ISS. Last year
, NASA began to allow non-affiliated commercial activity aboard the ISS, and it’s not cheap. Once a year, two “private astronauts” are allowed to stay on the ISS for up to 30 days. NASA typically charges a fee of $35,000 per day, which covers life support, communications, and other necessities. The terms of Cruise’s deal weren’t announced, however.
Cruise is known for pushing things to the limit, insisting on doing his own stunts
even as he approaches 60. He learned how to fly a fighter jet at 8 G’s for the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick this summer. While filming Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, one scene required Cruise to hold his breath underwater for up to six minutes, while another required him to dangle from the exterior of an Airbus A400M as it took off. For Mission Impossible: Fallout, he skydived from a height of 25,000 feet, nearly five miles.
However, the 57-year-old won’t be the oldest person to ever travel to space. That honor belongs to astronaut John Glenn, who returned to orbit in 1998 at the age of 77. But if Cruise’s upcoming movie proves to be a hit at the box office and gets a string of sequels, maybe he’ll get to challenge the NASA legend’s record.