Russia In Race With US To Film First Movie In Space

by : Cameron Frew on : 17 May 2021 13:38
Russia In Race With US To Film First Movie In SpacePA Images

The Space Race between Russia and the US is back – only this time, it’s a battle to make the first film above the Earth. 

In 2020, it was announced Tom Cruise was teaming up with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, his Mission: Impossible partner-in-crime Christopher McQuarrie, Elon Musk and NASA for a world first cinematic accomplishment: a movie filmed in outer space.


While we’ve not heard much about the project since then, likely due to the pandemic delaying a number of Cruise’s films, Russia is plotting its own film in a bid to beat the US.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos recently announced its crew for Challenge, a movie set to be filmed in space, directed by Klim Shepenko and starring Yulia Peresild, BBC News reports.

Peresild was selected following an open casting call, which specified: ‘The actress must weigh between 50 and 70kg and have a chest girth of up to 112 cm… additionally, she must be able to run one kilometre in three-and-a-half minutes or less, swim 800m freestyle in 20 minutes, and dive from a three-meter springboard with an impressive technique.’


While both the director and star have already undergone a medical and creative selection process, more specific training will begin on June 1, with the agency saying: ‘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.’

There’s little known about the plot of Challenge. As reported by NBC News, Konstantin Ernst, head of Russia’s Channel One who’s also working on the film, previously said: ‘It’s a movie about how a person in no way connected with space exploration, due to various reasons and personal debt, ends up a month later in orbit… that’s all I can tell you.’

It’s unclear when the Russian crew will begin filming in space, nor when it’s expected to release. While it’s said to be more of a drama, Cruise’s movie will come with action sequences filmed aboard the International Space Station.


Cruise and Liman are set to blast off to the ISS on October 1 this year. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine earlier tweeted: ‘NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.’

The script is still being written, and there’s currently no title for the film, nor have any other cast members been announced.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, International Space Station, ISS, Russia, Space, Tom Cruise, US


BBC News and 1 other
  1. BBC News

    Russia picks team for film shot on International Space Station

  2. NBC News

    Russia, racing to beat Tom Cruise and NASA to first movie shot in space, picks its cast