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Sorry Tom Cruise, Looks Like You Just Lost The Big Screen Space Race

Tom Cruise looking upset
(Image credit: Paramount)

Tom Cruise is the actor who is known for doing it all on screen. He’s climbed buildings. He’s done HALO jumps. He’s flown planes and helicopters. So when it was reported that Tom Cruise was working with Elon Musk to film a movie in space, it almost wasn’t a shock. If somebody was going to film a movie in space, of course it would be Cruise. And he may still do that, but he won’t be the first.

At the end of last year it was reported that a Russian film called The Challenge was also planning to film in outer space. Not only that, both films were eyeing October 2021 as the time they were looking to be on the International Space Station to start filming. So just like in the days of Sputnik, we had ourselves a space race, as two different productions worked toward the same goal independently. Well, the big screen space race is over, and Tom Cruise lost.

According to Euronews, Russian actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko launched toward the ISS yesterday ahead of 12 days of planned filming on the production. The movie centers around a doctor who is sent into space in order to perform emergency surgery on an astronaut. 

The exact state of Tom Cruise’s space film is unclear at this point. One assumes that it will still happen, but it’s simply been delayed. That’s not exactly a shock since nearly every movie in production has been delayed due to the global pandemic. It’s more surprising that this Russian movie is apparently still moving on schedule. 

The production of the new Mission: Impossible movies has been slow going and has been forced to delay filming more than once, leading to yet another release delay for the film. It’s possible that Mission: Impossible’s delays kept Cruise from moving on to his space movie. Of course, considering that we’re talking about making a movie in space, there’s any number of things that could have caused delays.

Certainly if Tom Cruise really wanted to be the first actor to film in orbit, he’s probably a bit disappointed right now, but maybe there’s a benefit to being second. Once we know what this Russian film actually does in space, then Tom Cruise will have a chance to top it. Simply filming in orbit won’t be enough anymore. Tom Cruise can do space stunts or come up with some other way to make his space movie even more impressive. 

I mean, in the actual space race the Russians did beat the U.S. at nearly every turn, but it was the U.S. that eventually made it to the moon. So perhaps art will imitate life here. Russia is the first one to film a movie in outer space, but maybe Tom Cruise’s movie will do more and will ultimately be the more impressive feat. Either that, or Cruise could just go film a movie on the moon. 

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.