Los Angeles, United States | AFP | Tom Cruise will film his next Hollywood blockbuster on location — 250 miles up in the air and orbiting the Earth once every 90 minutes.
The “Top Gun” star will fly through the stratosphere to shoot an as-yet-unknown film aboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA said on Tuesday.
The American space agency’s director Jim Bridenstine confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he was excited that the move would “inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists” to work on space travel.
Cruise, 56, famously still does his own cliff-hanging, car-rolling stunts.
He gained his commercial piloting license after his role in Top Gun as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a hotshot US Navy pilot who has a dangerous and reckless flying style, and reportedly flew some aircraft in the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic due later this year.
But if his latest daring project goes ahead, Cruise will be the first Hollywood A-lister to appear onscreen from outside the planet’s atmosphere.
Entertainment website Deadline Hollywood first reported rumours of the film shoot on the weekend, adding that tech mogul Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture was attached to the project.
SpaceX is slated to launch astronauts to space from US soil for the first time in nearly a decade later this month aboard the Crew Dragon, which will dock with the ISS.
Musk and SpaceX have yet to confirm their involvement in the film venture, but Musk responded to Bridenstine’s tweet to say the project “should be a lot of fun.”
His firm has established itself as a leader in the private space sector with billions of dollars in funding from NASA since the late 2000s, and its rockets have been supplying cargo to the ISS since 2012.
SpaceX was one of three companies awarded almost $1 billion in contracts to build lunar landers, as part of efforts by the United States to return human beings to the moon.
Deadline Hollywood said there were few other details known about Cruise’s movie project but reported it was not part of his box office hit franchise “Mission: Impossible.”
The seventh film in that series is set to hit screens next year after production was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.