Tom Cruise has reportedly recruited Elon Musk's technological expertise as he plans the first movie to ever film in outer space with the production backing of Universal Pictures.
Just in case you're checking if it's 1st April, Deadline is reporting that Cruise, director Doug Liman and Christopher McQuarrie have agreed with Universal Pictures a budget in the region of $200 million (£153 million) to make the film, which currently doesn't even have a script (apparently Liman is writing it now).
Deadline's sources say that Musk's firm SpaceX will be involved in the project from day one and while Liman will direct, Cruise's Mission: Impossible director McQuarrie will be "ground control" as story advisor and producer for the project.
The $200m budget is an estimate which, considering no film has ever been made beyond Earth before, is full of probably the greatest variables any movie project has ever had. A logistical nightmare doesn't even begin to hint at what the production team will contend with.
Cruise, though, is renowned for taking risks and doing his own stunts, including climbing the outside of the 123-storey Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, then doing an action scene at the top. The Hollywood star was first reported as conceiving the space-set adventure in May and had obtained Musk's interest. The obvious publicity benefits for his SpaceX company would be a big inducement to be involved.
Liman has apparently been doing the preparatory work for the project. Both he and Cruise are qualified pilots and Liman reportedly went to Florida to witness the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, complete with two NASA astronauts last week.
Falcon 9 is an historic public-private partnership that put the US back in the business of human space travel for the first time in a decade and the opportunity to be the first film production to ever make a narrative movie in space must have powerful appeal for all concerned, especially Universal Pictures.
Cruise is currently working on Mission: Impossible 7 and was reported last month to be creating a VIP village in Oxfordshire to create a coronavirus-free zone which would allow filming to resume.
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