Russian beat Tom Cruise, releases trailer of first space-shot film
March 9, 2023 10:41 AM
Russia has released a trailer for 'The Challenge' - a film shot 250 miles (400 km) above Earth on the International Space Station (ISS).
Its release, scheduled for April 20, will make it the first feature-length movie where the actors and director were flown out to space for filming.
This will come as a disappointment to Tom Cruise, who is lined up for a project that hoped to achieve this title, directed by Doug Liman.
The Mission: Impossible star was first revealed to be taking part in collaboration with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA in May 2020.
But, only six months later, Russian space agency Roscosmos announced it was casting a 'superwoman' to lead the 'first feature film to be shot on the International Space Station'.
This actress ended up being Yulia Peresild, who plays cardiac surgeon Zhenya who is blasted off to the ISS to save the life of an astronaut.
As well as performing a complicated procedure in zero-gravity, the character must fight to be taken seriously by the rest of the male crew.
All stages of preparation for the film were shown on state-controlled TV channel Channel One in a bid to 'popularise Russia's space activities and glorify the cosmonaut profession'.
It was filmed onboard the ISS in October 2021, just a few months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin's space chief Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, appointed himself a producer of 'The Challenge'.
While it will be the first movie where the cast was flown into space for the for shoot, 'Return from Orbit' - a Soviet science fiction film from 1984 - did contain scenes shot onboard the Salyut 7 space station.
'The Challenge' has cost about 1.115 billion roubles (£12.4 million) to make, while the Cruise flick is touted to have a more ambitious budget of $200 million (£170 million).
In May 2020, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted: 'NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station!'
He explained: 'We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA's ambitious plans a reality.'
Cruise and Liman worked together on the films American Made, released in 2017, and 2014's Edge Of Tomorrow.
They were due to film over an eight-day period on the ISS in October 2021, after being flown out on a SpaceX Crew Dragon Mission 1 spacecraft.
However the actor and director did not make it onboard, and while their flight was only delayed to early 2022, they have still to make it into orbit.
Meanwhile, Peresild and director and co-star Klim Shipenko, along with two cosmonauts, made it into space on the Soyuz MS-19 to film 'The Challenge'.
Peresild is a stage and film actress who briefly studied philology in the city of Pskov before moving to Moscow to pursue acting.
She made her screen debut in the TV series Land in 2003 and had her breakthrough in 2010 with a supporting role in The Edge, a film directed by Aleksei Uchitel, with whom Peresild has two daughters.
Shipenko previously described the space-based movie as 'an experiment,' adding there is 'nobody to get advice from.'
'There is not a single cameraman who could answer how to work with light from a porthole,' he said, of the issues filming in such an unusual environment.