Tom Cruise and his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman want to shoot a film aboard the International Space Station, and now Universal Pictures is reportedly considering the venture. Variety reports that Cruise and Liman have entered into negotiations with Universal for Cruise to star in and produce this ambitious feature, with Liman directing, and both NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX jointly cooperating to help with the production logistics. The big question of course is whether Universal will foot the bill for this venture (already set at an "optimistic" $200 million) - and assume the obvious massive risks and technical challenges involved.
As one insider near the project said, "you can't be sure what you're going to get up there, and you have one shot to do it."
It's being reported that Tom Cruise could earn between $30 - 60 million for the project, as both producer and star, with insiders saying the action star is placing bets on the finished product with a "significant first-dollar gross participation," rather than getting a bigger upfront payment.
At this point, Tom Cruise betting on Tom Cruise seems like a safe bet - especially if he and Liman and their crew can actually tout an event to viewers like "first narrative feature shot in space." It's not only on-brand for Cruise, who remains the most daring (and enduring) action star in the business today - it's pretty much the natural evolution of where his stunts have been headed. He started off leaping from great heights for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, then took to hanging off an actual plane in the sky in Rogue Nation, and doing hanging stunts off a flying helicopter in Fallout. Off-planet is the only place that Tom Cruise has left to go!
As stated, the cost and risks are massive for Universal, as pulling off the production on-budget seems highly unlikely (each mistake or reshoot is a costly one); also, insuring this production and its star is going to be a whole new frontier, as Hollywood has not yet had to assess the risks of going into space. Timing is also an issue: Tom Cruise has at least Mission: Impossible 6 to finish (whenever the coronavirus pandemic allows for it), with Mission: Impossible 7 to do immediately afterward. Predictions are he could be 60 before heading up to space.
Still, it's noted that major streaming services were blocked from bidding on this project, as it is being groomed as the type of major "event" film that could serve as a big, mainstream draw to get people back into movie theaters.
We'll keep you updated on Tom Cruise's space movie.