Russian Filmmakers Beat Tom Cruise in the Race to Film First Movie in Outer Space

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Tom Cruise won’t be the first actor to shoot a movie in space after all. Director Klim Shipenko will be joining his cast of one, Yulia Peresild, and two cosmonauts for a 12-day shoot amongst the stars for his new film The Challenge. They’ll be launching on a Soyuz MS-19 craft from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 5. From there, they will be piloted into outer space and be delivered to a space station, which orbits Earth at an altitude of around 220 miles. Then he’ll announce, “Action!” We are making movies in outer space now, guys. Talk about a commute!

Director Klim Shipenko explains, “This movie is built around a story of an ordinary person… a doctor who had nothing to do with space exploration and never thought about it is offered to travel to the ISS… and save a cosmonaut’s life.” The cosmonauts piloting will also be seen in the movie. “I won’t be starring in it but still I will need to figure out how a movie is produced in such an unusual place as outer space,” said commander Anton Shkaplerov.

Lead and only actress, Yulia Peresild, said she had to learn to be her own make-up artist and costume designer. “It will not be on the same level as on Earth, but we will do our best. We are ready for it,” she said. She also had to learn fast in her crash course in space travel at Yuri Gagarin Center for Cosmonaut Training.

Can we all just take this in for a moment? Ms. Peresild was cast in a movie that is shooting in outer space. That takes doing your own stunts to a whole new level. When asked the inevitable question, she responds, “It is a bit too late to be afraid because we’ve come so far, there is Baikonur ahead and a lot of things (to do) and to be honest, there is just no time left for fear.” She left the news conference saying, “If you’re afraid of wolves, you shouldn’t go into the forest.”

Klim Shipenko is known for his comedy Son of a Rich, that finds a pampered and spoiled man, tricked by his father, who now believes that he is living back in time in a 19th-century village as a peasant. It is Russia’s highest-grossing film of all time. Something tell me that Mr. Shipenko will be known for something much grander in the near future.

As for the Tom Cruise movie, which has been alluded to as Luna Park, the iconic Mission: Impossible franchise star has teamed with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for a thriller that will be partially shot in space and abroad the International Space Station. Doug Liman will direct the $200 million project. There had been buzz that the film project was canceled, but as of today, Variety says Tom Cruise’s space movie is still moving forward.

Konstantin Ernst, CEO of the movie’s commissioner Channel One, teased of the Tom Cruise race saying, “We certainly would have preferred arriving at the International Space Station at the same time with Tom Cruise. We would have enjoyed shooting the film together much better.” Channel One will be broadcasting the launch on October 5, with livestreams in multiple languages across its web platforms. Ernst described the first of its kind experience as “a breathtaking reality show and a chance to attract millions of TV viewers.” He added, “At the age of 12, I was a member of the young cosmonaut club hoping to fly into space. For me personally, this is a childhood dream coming true.” This news comes from Variety.



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