"Please, do not do any filming on your smartphones... because right now, this is actually the future end of the movie."
That’s a Wrap
After 12 days of filming aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the first ever feature-length movie shot in space has finally wrapped filming in orbit — and its crew has safely landed back on Earth, as they kept filming during and after the journey home.
The crew consisted of actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko, according to The New York Times. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, who has been aboard the orbital outpost since April, also played a role in the film as an ailing astronaut. All three returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-18 craft on Saturday, landing at 10:35am local time in Kazakhstan’s Karaganda Region.
— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) October 17, 2021
The film, dubbed "The Challenge," wasn’t quite finished even after the crew left the ISS.
In fact, filming continued even as they boarded the return capsule and after they landed in Kazakhstan, where they were greeted with an entire film crew as well as an astronaut recovery team.
"Guys, please, let us do some shooting," a producer shouted to the crowd in a live video stream seen by the NYT. "Please, do not do any filming on your smartphones. Do not take any videos, because right now, this is actually the future end of the movie."
The crew reportedly filmed at least four takes of a scene in which an actor greeted Novitsky and Peresild — making this perhaps the strangest spectacle to take place after astronauts returned to Earth. The film’s ISS crew is now expected to go through a 10-day transition period in which they’ll recover from living in a microgravity environment.
Despite the much ballyhooed production of "The Challenge," the filming aboard the ISS was strangely quiet. While Peresild and Shipenko gave some nice quotes when they initially arrived, little else was heard over the 12 days of filming.
That isn’t to say that production was completely without excitement. For one, the crew’s capsule was delayed due to software issues. The same capsule also ended up spinning the ISS yet again after Novitsky was allegedly attempting to test its engines.
Of course, many film productions are secretive about plots and storylines. Plus, the Russian government isn’t exactly known to share information about… well, anything. But with the fanfare surrounding the film and the coincidental "accident" involving another Russian module spinning the ISS out of control, we’re beginning to suspect there might be more dastardly motives afoot.
READ MORE: Russian Film Crew Wraps Space Station Shoot and Returns to Earth [The New York Times]
More on Russian film crew: Russian Actress Boards Space Station, Says She Feels Like She’s Dreaming