Tom Cruise’s Cinematic Space Race Is Now Being Challenged By Russia

Earlier this year, Tom Cruise sealed the deal to become the first actor to shoot a movie in outer space. He even secured the whole budget for the movie (made in conjunction with Elon Musk to be filmed on the International Space Station) over a Zoom call. In effect, this means that Tom will win the space-race flexing contest between everyone and Vin Diesel, but there might be a catch. Tom’s movie (which still has no script) probably won’t shoot until 2022, and Russia might get to space with its first actor in 2021.

Via IndieWire, Sky News has reported on an upcoming Russian TV channel that’s looking to film a movie (with the working title of Challenge) in October 2021, and yep, they’re aiming to do so on the International Space Station, too. A casting call even went out to cast a woman in the lead role. Oh boy:

The casting announcement for the role says a “a real superhero” is required for the part, someone who wants to “go to the stars… at the same time as becoming a big international star.”

While the successful applicant does not have to be a professional actress, she does have to be aged between 25 and 40, stand between 150 and 180cm tall, weigh between 50 and 70kg and have a “chest girth” of up to 112cm. She is also required to have a clean criminal record.

There are other, fitness-related requirements for the role, too, mostly related to endurance, but what matters most is that Tom Cruise might be bested by Russia. It’s the weirdest space race ever, really, and honestly, it sounds kind-of fun.

Meanwhile, Tom’s on-set tirade (launched at crew members who weren’t taking COVID protocols seriously) is still generating responses. Although many people supported Tom’s message, not everyone was thrilled, including ex-Scientologist Leah Remini, who accused him of doing so as a publicity stunt. This week, a source told US Weekly that crew members are essentially “walking on eggshells” and believe that while Tom had “good intentions… he didn’t need to rant and rave the way he did.” Meanwhile, a U.K.-based production source told People that Tom’s taking the breaking of protocol “personally.” Further, “The Mission: Impossible movies are very special to him. They are ‘his’ movies,” so Tom’s pretty upset to see them threatened.

(Via Sky, IndieWire, People & US Weekly)