Tom Cruise will “hopefully” become “the first civilian to do a spacewalk” outside of the International Space Station when he blasts off to space to shoot a new action movie with director Doug Liman. Donna Langley, the head of Universal Pictures, teased as much during a recent BBC interview. Universal is backing the Cruise space project, which reportedly carries a budget in the $200 million range. While it was already known the movie would shoot scenes on the ISS, Langley said the plan is to also have Cruise perform a spacewalk.
“Tom Cruise is taking us to space. He’s taking the world to space. That’s the plan,” Langley confirmed to the BBC. “We have a great project in development with Tom, that does contemplate him doing just that. Taking a rocket up to the space station and shooting and hopefully being the first civilian to do a spacewalk outside of the space station.”
Look, we can sit here and, ad nauseam, go over all the "appreciate the art vs. the artist" discourse all we want. I'd be somewhere between deeply unsettled and questioning my own reality if I'd ever come into contact with Tom Cruise in person. He's a pop culture monolith of a man.
Question his personal life all you want. Totally understand. Hell, I do too. What I can't question is his unmatched commitment to massive-scale filmmaking and entertaining the shit out of a moviegoing audience. He's taken the Mission: Impossible franchise to unfathomable heights and extended its shelf life far beyond anyone's imagination. Top Gun: Maverick is legitimately one of the best blockbuster movies of the past quarter-century or so.
Tom Cruise is now going beyond Planet Earth because of course he is. Seriously…going to space to shoot part of an actual feature film? Holy shit. That alone is incredible. Never mind doing a spacewalk, which is, to be clear, going outside of an actual spaceship and actually acting for real. In a space suit. In real outer space. WTF.
According to the Variety article, the plot of this new movie will take place mostly on Earth, but Cruise's character must eventually ascend beyond our mundane atmosphere to save the planet.
This is the type of mind-blowing lengths we've come to expect from Cruise. It's simply what this man does. Just some things he's done for movies that spring to mind: Holding his breath under water for six minutes, doing death-defying stunts in a helicopter, carrying out action sequences in Zero-G, somehow pulling off HALO jumps, professionally flying military jets…the list goes on. His action/cinematic feats are incredible. The HALO jump in particular still makes my brain melt.
I don't know what's in store for the (presumably) final two installments of M:I, but in this particular project, Cruise is going to a whole other level — a whole other plane of existence, literally! — SPACE! And I'm HERE FOR IT.
In many ways Cruise has been building toward this for his whole career. He's now in his 60s and I still have no doubt he'll pull it off with flying colors. Because a green screen or even that new Volume technology is fake, weak-ass shit. Tom Cruise is going to ACTUAL space, and since he's there, he'll be IN actual outer space, thank you very much.