While Tom Cruise is known for his death-defying stunts that include hanging from the side of an airplane, climbing the Burj Khalifa or flying fighter aircraft at Mach speed, he won’t be able to top [at least for the moment] what a Russian film crew is about to attempt. The film crew is set to launch on a Soyuz spacecraft to film a sequence on the International Space Station (ISS).
The Russian space agency Roscosmos will blast off a cosmonaut, a film director and an actor on its Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2.25 pm Indian Standard Time on Tuesday.
Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov — a veteran of three long-duration spaceflights will steer the Soyuz towards the Space Station joined by film director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild. While Shkaplerov will remain at the flying outpost for 174 days, the actor-director duo will remain onboard for 12 days filming a sequence for the film.
“The spacecraft is to dock with the Russian segment of the ISS two orbits after the launch. The ISS-66 crew flight is to last 174 days, while the spaceflight participants will stay at the ISS at least for 12 days,” Roscomos said in a statement.
Apart from Yulia, cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov will also play a part in the film. (Photo: Roscosmos)
FILMING IN SPACE
The actor-director will film a sequence for an upcoming film titled ‘The Challenge’, which, according to reports, follows a doctor who flies to the ISS on short notice to give life-saving care to a cosmonaut. The crew will film a 35-40 minute long sequence on the ISS.
Before going for launch preparation, Yulia Peresild, who is on track to become the first actor in space had said that for the first two seconds it’s scary, after that, it’s beautiful. Yulia, who has no background in aviation or space science had been training with the space agency after clearing her audition.
Yulia Peresild will become the first actor in space. (Photo: Roscosmos)
The New York Times reported that Peresild conceded she will face limitations filming in space. She will do her own makeup, for example, and work without lighting or sound crews. Meanwhile, Shipenko said that his aim was to bring to life the experience of space through the eyes of an ordinary person, the doctor character played by Peresild.
Apart from Yulia, cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov will also play a part in the film.
“The project will become a clear evidence that space flights are gradually becoming available not only for professionals but also for an ever wider range of interested persons,” the website of the film said.
WILL TOM CRUISE CATCH UP?
The move will make Russia the first country to film beyond Earth’s orbit with Nasa and Tom Cruise playing catch up. The Russian space agency moved up the mission after officials were concerned over Nasa stealing their moment.
NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality. pic.twitter.com/CaPwfXtfUv
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 5, 2020
Nasa had last year announced that it will work with Tom Cruise to film a sequence on the Space Station. “Nasa is excited to work with Tom Cruise on a film aboard the Space Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make Nasa’s ambitious plans a reality,” then Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine had said in 2020.
However, there is no further announcement from Tom Cruise or Nasa about plans to film a movie in space as of now.