Have you ever dreamt of going in outer space at some point in your life? Walking on the moon? Seeing the Earth from a distance? While we may probably never get a chance to go into outer space, guess who gets to live the dream? My celebrity crush, Tom Cruise, who is all set to hit the sky for his upcoming action-packed film (yet to be titled).

I could not believe it at first but, the news soon got me thinking: what are the safety measures that go in into such an ambitious project? So, I did some research out of curiosity.

A lot of speculation about the film started earlier this year when the news of him teaming up with NASA and Elon Musk’s Space X for the project started making rounds. The film is likely to start production in October 2021 after a confirmation from Space Shuttle Almanac came in September on Twitter about the Axiom Space Station, run by Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, taking off for this mission with Cruise and Liman which seems anything but impossible now.

In May, NASA was the first one to break the news to everyone anxiously awaiting confirmation when Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator tweeted, “NASA is excited to work with Tom Cruise on a film aboard the Space Station!”

The film would be directed by Doug Liman who has films like The Edge of Tomorrow under his hat.

The question still remains: what are the odds for this American Made duo to shoot in space instead of sending professionals in their place?

As thrilling as the idea of shooting in space sounds, it comes with a lot of concerns such as setting up an insurance plan for the Jack Reacher star and the entire team that will be present on the Earth’s orbit for the project. The actor-director duo will be expected to pass a NASA physical ability test. There was also news about one of the astronauts questioning if Cruise, who is going to be 60 years old at the time of shooting for the film, is well-suited to undertake such a risk.

Also, what about the technicalities that go into filming such a high-risk project? The International Space Station already uses a lot of camera equipment for its everyday shoots. Many of the cameras are installed into the space station itself while some are attached to devices like iPads.

Handling the camera is not really an issue when it comes to shooting in space. It is the preparation procedure for each specific scene that might not work out. The makeup will also have to be entirely liquid base that should not shed any waste in space. Traditional aerosols won’t be of any use.

Regardless, it is interesting to see that Cruise has signed onto this project as in August 2018, in an interview with Collider, the actor shed light on a few issues that might occur when such a film is planned. He stated that the mechanics of getting in space would most likely be a problem. Then building a sequence and the time shooting it will also have to be considered. When the star of your film is concerned about how it could possibly be pulled off then maybe you should listen.

However, it is not like zero attention is given to these concerns. To make sure that the astronauts are at no risk, the air pressure is kept in check within the human health requirements. Cruise is also familiar with the layout and size of the space station through his previous experience of serving as a narrator for the IMAX documentary Space Station 3D in 2002.

Currently, Liman is in the initial stages of writing the script for this much-anticipated film. Christopher McQuarrie, the writer and director for the Mission Impossible series, will be an advisor and co-producer on the project along with the rest of the gang. Universal Pictures has been approached for this project but is yet to give an official statement on the matter.

This is not the first time a project is thought to be filmed in outer space though. The 11th space shuttle mission for NASA took off in April 1984 with a motion picture camera to shoot scenes for the first film to have shot in the Earth’s orbit. It was not exactly like the upcoming Cruise film being planned but close enough!

So, while I may not be travelling to outer space or walking on the moon (I can try the moonwalk, though), I will unashamedly and vicariously live out my space dream through Cruise.

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Haddiqua Siddiqui

By Haddiqua Siddiqui

Editorial Fellow