Back in May, news broke that Tom Cruise and Elon Musk were teaming up in hopes to shoot the first action movie in space. While the idea of literally rocketing a major movie star into orbit sounds crazy, it’s actually very on-brand for Cruise, who has routinely pushed himself to find new ways to defy death for the sake of an action scene. Of course, the big question was what studio would be willing to invest millions of dollars into shooting one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood into space. It turns out there’s a taker.
According to Variety, Universal Studios is closing in as the top bidder for Cruise’s space project, which not only comes with the unpredictably of shooting in zero gravity conditions, but also a hefty price tag of $200 million. There are also major hurdles around insuring both Cruise and the production team who would be at very high risk until safely returning to Earth. However, that seems to be a gamble Universal is willing to take:
The inherent marketing value around a global event like this is obvious. Similar to the recent historic launch of SpaceX’s Dragon crew vessel, the entire world will watch as Cruise is rocketed into space, forcing natural curiosity around the results. The stakes are also high from a filmmaking standpoint. As one person familiar with the project put it, “you can’t be sure what you’re going to get up there, and you have one shot to do it.”
Of course, the fact that this project has even advanced this far is a testament to Cruise’s maniacal intensity. The idea of shooting the actor into space was floated only a few weeks ago in May. Since then, he’s secured a deal with the International Space Station, landed director Doug Liman, and is in the final stages of convincing a studio to drop millions of dollars on the chance of him surviving space travel. Cruise hasn’t even blasted off yet, and already, this might be his most impressive stunt.