Perennial action star Tom Cruise, who has a penchant for striving for ever bigger and more blustery stunts and set pieces, may be aiming for the crowning action movie achievement of them all: Shooting a movie in space. Deadline reports that Cruise is in early discussions with Elon Musk's SpaceX about the possibility of filming a feature film in space, with NASA also involved in the early chats.
This isn't a booked project, but rather early discussions, according to Deadline, but the talks are serious. They also fit perfectly with Cruise's daring-do profile, since the actor frequently takes on his own stunts, including some of the more hair-raising epic scenes from the Mission Impossible series.
This movie would not be a Mission Impossible sequel, according to the report, but any film actually set in space probably doesn't need the cache of a legacy film franchise to attract audiences.
No word on how this would actually work, but SpaceX is just about to certify their first human-rated spacecraft for service. Their Crew Dragon is readying for a launch on May 27, carrying NASA astronauts for the first time during a demonstration mission that will act as the final preparatory step before the spacecraft can be used for normal astronaut-ferrying operations to and from the International Space Station.
SpaceX and NASA specifically embarked on their public-private partnership to develop Crew Dragon with the plan that it would also then be made available to commercial partners for other contracts. The agency's public-private partnership efforts with industry are intended to defray its costs long-term by opening up the market, and SpaceX is already working with another partner on booking private launches aboard Crew Dragon.
Musk's company is also currently working on Starship, a fully reusable spacecraft that should have much more room on board for a film crew to occupy, once it's ready to fly. That vehicle is still likely a few years out from human rating, though it was selected by NASA as one of the contract providers for its future human lander missions, which should begin in 2024 if all goes to the agency's plan.