NASA’s current desire to commercialize space has seemingly reached its logical conclusion. Administrator Jim Bridenstine has confirmed a Deadline report that NASA is working with Tom Cruise on a movie to be shot aboard the International Space Station. Yes, it should be the first fictional movie shot in space — not just aboard a low-gravity “vomit comet” flight. Bridenstine didn’t share details of the movie, but the earlier leak claimed that it wasn’t a Mission: Impossible movie.
That same report said SpaceX was involved, although it might not have much choice. NASA is determined to fly Americans to space from US soil, and that means using capsules like Crew Dragon in the near term.
The title is reportedly in the very early stages, with no studio involved and no release window. SpaceX doesn’t expect to offer tourist flights aboard Crew Dragon until the second half of 2021 at the earliest.
It’s not shocking that both sides would be eager to work with each other. Cruise is well-known for doing as many of his own stunts as possible, often at high risk. It doesn’t get much more authentic than shooting a space-themed movie in orbit. NASA, meanwhile, has many incentives to team up with the actor. As TechCrunch explained, it’s not just about Bridenstine’s aim to “inspire a new generation of scientists.” This could help NASA turn the ISS into a place of business, and Cruise’s movie could serve as a marketing tool to attract more companies.
NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality. pic.twitter.com/CaPwfXtfUv— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 5, 2020