Tom Cruise's Space Movie

Tom Cruise is going to do what has never been done before: star in a movie among the literal stars.

The Mission: Impossible actor is taking on a seemingly impossible mission of his own, because he’s going to travel to space and shoot a movie on board the International Space Station. Universal Pictures is now in talks to distribute the finished product, which would give the studio a chance to see a real version of its own logo appear on screen in one of its movies.

Variety has the news about Universal potentially distributing Tom Cruise’s space movie, which is being directed by filmmaker Doug Liman. The film is being made in collaboration with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and with NASA, but no script has been written yet, so actual story details are still unknown.

Variety’s sources say the production budget will cost at least $200 million – although one has to assume that the marketing budget won’t be as high as a traditional movie’s since the entire process of sending Cruise to space will be a heavily-publicized news event and generate tons of free publicity. As for Cruise himself, the report says he might end up walking away with somewhere between $30 million and $60 million for his work as a producer and star, which, frankly, seems about right since he’s going into freaking space to make the first-ever narrative feature shot outside this planet.

Liman and Cruise have made multiple movies together: the true-life drug runner tale American Made and the sci-fi modern classic Edge of Tomorrow. But interestingly, Liman has a reputation for difficult shoots and seems to relish changing things on the fly. That approach doesn’t seem like a great fit in this case, where the simple act of shooting the movie literally involves life and death stakes and the margin of error is razor-thin. But the other important thing to note about Liman is that despite those horror stories about his sets, he often ends up making terrific, thrilling films which bear no visible proof of any behind-the-scenes turbulence. Here’s hoping everything goes smoothly for this one, since, as Variety also notes, Cruise might be well over 60 years old by the time he straps into that rocket and heads into the stars.

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