If they pull this off, it'll be the first movie filmed in space.
Russia has selected the cast it'll send to the International Space Station (ISS) to film the first movie in space — signaling its intention to beat celebrity middle-tooth-haver Tom Cruise to orbit.
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, announced on Thursday that it has cast actor Yulia Peresild to star in the space-produced film "Challenge" with Klim Shipenko to direct, according to The Guardian. The two will launch to the station as part of Russia’s Soyuz mission.
The production is set to begin on October 5, 2021 — the same month Cruise and director Doug Liman are expected to arrive at the ISS to film the first Hollywood production in space. For that, they'll be working with SpaceX and NASA to get it done.
Though plenty of films have utilized zero-gravity flights to simulate space (like "Apollo 13"), none have actually filmed there before.
As such, both movie’s cast and crew are expected to undergo rigorous training to ensure they’re ready for the task.
"Among other things, they will have to take centrifuge tests, vibration stand tests, perform introductory and training flights on a zero-gravity plane, undergo parachute training," said Roscosmos in a statement attained by NBC News.
War of the Worlds
As you can imagine, there’s plenty of tension between these opposing ventures. For one, the first one to film in the ISS gets the prestige of being the first movie filmed in space.
Secondly, these productions can be seen as an extension of the current strained geopolitical relationship between Russia and the US — and therefore, the Cold War-era Space Race itself.
Sure, Cruise isn't likely to defeat Moscow with his movie, but he could give the US bragging rights if he finishes production first. That's almost enough to ignore his... other eccentricities.
READ MORE: Space race 2: Russian actor bound for ISS in same month as Tom Cruise [The Guardian]
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