Update: NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has confirmed that the space agency is working with Tom Cruise to shoot a film aboard the International Space Station.
“We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality,” Bridenstine added on Twitter.
Politician Bridenstine has been the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since 2018 after he was nominated by President Donald Trump for the position.
Original story: If you've spent any of your time quarantined contemplating how you can take your career to the next level, you are not alone.
Tom Cruise, the ageless movie star who's attempted increasingly treacherous stunts over the past few Mission: Impossible sequels, is reportedly planning to shoot his next action thriller in outer space, and with the help of futurist billionaire tech titan Elon Musk and NASA.
That's according to a Monday report from Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr.
"I’m hearing that Tom Cruise and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are working on a project with NASA that would be the first narrative feature film — an action adventure — to be shot in outer space," Fleming Jr. writes, referencing the private space travel program the Tesla founder launched in 2002.
"It’s not a Mission: Impossible film and no studio is in the mix at this stage but look for more news as I get it. But this is real, albeit in the early stages of liftoff."
This isn’t the first time Cruise has been involved with a project that planned to shoot in space. Talking to Empire in 2018, Avatar director James Cameron revealed that he’d been in talks with the Top Gun star about an out of this world shoot at the turn of the millennium.
“I actually talked to [Cruise] about doing a space film in space, about 15 years ago,” Cameron told Empire. “I had a contract with the Russians in 2000 to go to the International Space Station and shoot a high-end 3D documentary there. And I thought, ‘S***, man, we should just make a feature.’ I said, ‘Tom, you and I, we’ll get two seats on the Soyuz, but somebody’s gotta train us as engineers.’ Tom said, ‘No problem, I’ll train as an engineer.’ We had some ideas for the story, but it was still conceptual.”
Late last month it was announced that Cruise's next two outings as IMF super agent Ethan Hunt, Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, were being delayed by Paramount due to coronavirus shut-downs, with new release years of 19 November, 2021 and 4 November, 2022.
The plan was for both instalments to be shot back to back, and filming on Part 7 was only a few days underway in Italy when it was shut down on 24 February. Another Cruise sequel, the long-awaited ‘80s follow-up Top Gun: Maverick, was also recently delayed, from 24 June to 23 December.
That's to say Cruise, 57, still has a lot of missions on Earth to pull off before he can focus his attention toward the stars.
It's unclear how well or how long Cruise and Musk have known one another. But Cruise did make his appreciation for Musk's work known in 2013 when he tweeted an image of Musk's project that mirrored some of the tech used in his futuristic 2002 thriller Minority Report.
Musk, meanwhile, has been in the news recently for proclaiming on Twitter that he's "selling almost all physical possessions" and "will own no house." Musk listed two of his California homes for sale on Sunday.
Among Cruise's recent wave of death-defying stunts in the M:I movies: He scaled the world's tallest building in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), hung from the side of a plane in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) and performed an actual HALO jump in Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018).
"The older Tom Cruise gets, the more fun it is to watch him risk death in elaborate and age-and gravity-defying ways," the New York Times wrote in 2018.
Attempting a new round of stunts in zero gravity, then, seems like the next logical progression.