When it comes to any race having to do with space, Russia likes to be on the vanguard, pushing the atmospheric envelope whenever possible. And in their most recent move, the country’s space program is going to pull off another first. According to Deadline, the crew of their most recent rocket launched into space is going to be the first crew to be part of a movie shot in space. Move over all you CGI’d space folks, this is going to be the real deal with parts of the production featuring the actual folks flying around in the cosmos.
This first movie shot in space will be part of a Russian production called The Challenge. It is set to take place in the country’s section of the International Space Station. The country’s space program, in conjunction with their broadcast television arm, have a trio of folks heading up to space for the upcoming filming. The three ground(space)-breaking folks will be actress Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko and actual astronaut Anton Shkaplerov. They are expected to complete enough filming to cover about 35 to 40 minutes of the movie when it is all said and done.
This isn’t the only plan for a movie shot in space and the timing of the Russian initiative is a bit eyebrow-raising. That’s because about a year ago there was a Deadline report that some Hollywood and technological heavy hitters were planning something similar. Tom Cruise and Doug Liman had announced plans to film part of their next movie together in space aboard one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX ships. Liman and Cruise have worked together on Edge of Tomorrow and American Made and this next plan drew attention for its pushing the envelope. It was also done with NASA approval as well. But the Russians beat them to the punch, announcing their own intentions shortly after and then getting to space first.
Look, this isn’t the first time the Russians have beaten the Americans in the space race with the first movie shot in space being the latest example. They sent the first animal up into orbit in 1947 when Laika went on Sputnik 2. Then, the first human in space was Yuri Garagan who did it in 1961. Then Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space as well. See what I mean? It’s Russians first every time.
While this might be the first movie shot in space, it clearly won’t be the last. Sure, the Russians will wrap up work on the International Space Station in due time, assuming the clunker can hold together long enough. The last couple of years have seen issues aboard the ISS. A couple of months ago it looked like a fleet of UFOs was flying around it. But more seriously there was odd bacteria growth on the platform and even a failure of oxygen systems. It might be held together by duct tape at this point.
Regardless, this is still an exciting prospect, the first movie shot in space one that likely acts as a launchpad for future productions. We are sure to see studios start pushing the actual limits of locations in films.