NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has confirmed in a tweet that the space agency is working with movie star Tom Cruise on a project that involves shooting a film on the International Space Station.
- Deadline Hollywood reported on Monday that a space movie project involving NASA and SpaceX is in the works, but that “no studio is in the mix at this stage.” Bridenstine followed up with a tweet saying that NASA was “excited” to be working with Cruise, and explaining that “we need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.”
- SpaceX is currently focusing on preparations for its first-ever crewed mission, a demonstration flight to the International Space Station that makes use of the company’s Crew Dragon capsule. If the movie deal comes together, Cruise could to take a Crew Dragon flight to the station under NASA’s recently established commercialization rules — though it’d be more fun to put him aboard the yet-to-be-launched Starship super-spaceship.
- Cruise isn’t the first performer said to be interested in spaceflight for professional purposes. Others who have considered in-space performance projects, so far without success, include film director James Cameron (who says he once talked with Cruise about doing a space movie) and a variety of singers including Lance Bass, Sarah Brightman and Lady Gaga.
Update for 2:20 p.m. PT May 5: We’ve updated this report with Bridenstine’s confirmation that a deal is under discussion.