Did we really think that three-time Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning action star Tom Cruise would rest on his high-speed laurels following the massive, record-breaking success of Paramount‘s sequel Top Gun: Maverick? No, but we didn’t expect him to set his sights on space next. According to BBC News, Universal Pictures‘ chairman Donna Langley is eyeing Paramount‘s crown for box-office topping cinematic experiences with optimistic intentions to have Cruise strolling among the stars.
When you’re one of the most ambitious action stars working in the industry today, how do you top your own physical stunts, like hanging from an airplane for a single-minute video to honor movie theaters? Cruise recently broke the sound barrier in his reprisal of top naval aviator Maverick in Joseph Kosinski‘s Top Gun sequel, now he’s looking to break through Earth’s atmosphere. In an untitled project for Universal, with a reported budget currently around $200 million, Cruise is already confirmed to be shooting scenes for the film on the International Space Station. In her interview with BBC News, Langley suggests they’re attempting to push even that envelope, saying the studio’s hope is to have Cruise be “the first civilian to do a spacewalk,” in history.
Langley, “the first British woman to run a major American film studio,” is doing her part to ensure Universal‘s place among the stars. In this new frontier for cinema, Cruise‘s limitless ambition and appreciation for audiences is what the industry needs to cash in on, and if that means the price tag is taking the stunts to the stars then that’s what she’s willing to do:
“Tom Cruise is taking us to space. He’s taking the world to space. That’s the plan. 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.”
This production is being helmed by filmmaker Doug Liman, who previously worked with Cruise on the acclaimed Edge of Tomorrow, and is said to be teaming up again on an upcoming follow-up film Live Die Repeat and Repeat. With the film so early in its production, not many plot details have been disclosed other than that the movie will mostly take place here on earth before “the character needs to go up to space to save the day.” Furthermore, Cruise will play “a down-on-his-luck guy who finds himself in the position of being the only person who could save Earth,” à la Bruce Willis in the absolutely epic 1998 tear-jerker Armageddon. With the entirety of the Mission: Impossible franchise beneath Cruise’s Ethan Hunt belt, no doubt the actor is well-equipped to take on the world’s furthest limits.
Cruise and Liman are working alongside both NASA and Elon Musk‘s SpaceX to be the pioneers of Hollywood’s first space exploration team, earning them the only “narrative feature film” to work in actual space. Speaking to Thrillest on his involvement with this Universal Picture, Liman said, “When a producer proposes something crazy to you, like, let’s try to shoot a movie in outer space, and NASA and SpaceX sign on, and Tom Cruise signs on…you’re just a little bit more receptive.”
There’s no word yet on a projected release date, but stay tuned to Collider for more as the story develops.