Top Gun: Maverick star Tom Cruise is set to star in a movie shot in space thanks to a partnership with NASA, and Universal wants to make him the “the first civilian to do a spacewalk outside of the space station.”
As reported by IGN, in an interview with BBC, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairwoman Donna Langley spoke about the project, which will have Cruise and the rest of the film crew take a rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) to shoot parts of the movie in space.
Cruise and director Doug Liman had pitched the film to Langley in 2020, she revealed in the BBC interview.
Langley said the movie’s overarching plot “actually takes place on Earth, and then the character needs to go up to space to save the day.” Some scenes will include Cruise’s character walking outside of the ISS itself, that will give the movie something other movies set in outer space have only been able to emulate.
At the time, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine sent out a tweet declaring the space agency’s support of the project. “NASA is excited to work with Tom Cruise on a film aboard the Space Station!,” he wrote.
According to Gizmondo, reports had also suggested that Cruise was working with Elon Musk’s private space venture SpaceX on the project, assuming that the actor might ride aboard one of their rockets to get to the space station. “Should be a lot of fun!” Musk responded to Bridenstine’s Twitter post.
“Tom Cruise is taking us to space. He’s taking the world to space. That’s the plan,” Langley told BBC. “We have a great project in development with Tom, that does contemplate him doing just that. Taking a rocket up to the space station and shooting and hopefully being the first civilian to do a spacewalk outside of the space station.”
The ISS welcomed its first private astronaut crew earlier this year, where the four crew members spent 15 days living and working in the microgravity environment as part of Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission. NASA is already planning for the second private crew to board the space station in the second quarter of 2023, and the space agency sent out a call for proposals for two more private astronaut missions to the ISS that could fly to low Earth orbit as early as late 2023. However, NASA stipulated that any mission concept that involves spacewalks conducted by the private astronaut mission will not be accepted.
On the other hand, the all-private Polaris Dawn crew, which is scheduled to launch in December, includes a spacewalk as part of the mission itinerary. It’s not clear whether Cruise will have enough time to beat the Polaris crew for the title of first civilian spacewalk, with the crew having already been training for their trip to space since May.
Top Gun: Maverick, the highest-grossing film of Cruise’s career and the sequel of the 1986 blockbuster, premiered at CinemaCon on Apr. 28, 2022, and was theatrically released by Paramount Pictures in the US on May 27, 2022. The film was widely praised by critics, with many citing the aviation sequences as the standout element, and deeming it superior to its predecessor. It has grossed over $1.47 billion worldwide.
Photo credit: Paramount and NASA/Boeing
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