The Russian Movie That Beat Tom Cruise Into Space Gets A Trailer

Sci-fi thriller The Challenge, the Russian film that beat Tom Cruise for first to shoot on the ISS, has a heartbreaking trailer.

The Challenge drops a new trailer, previewing the Russian sci-fi thriller that beat out Tom Cruise to become the first fictional film shot in space. For the past decade, the star of Mission: Impossible Cruise has been on a mission to push the boundaries of on-screen action by performing a series of increasingly dangerous on-screen stunts. Not content with pulling off such daring earthly feats, Cruise now wants to up the ante by boarding a SpaceX rocket, traveling to the International Space Station, and shooting a movie in orbit around Earth.

But if Cruise does finally realize his dream of filming in space, some of the luster of the achievement will fade thanks to a recent Russian production that broke the barrier of cinematic space in front of him. Titled The Challenge, this new sci-fi thriller has made history as the first fictional film to shoot footage in space with real actors and a real director. Now the movie shows off some of that historic footage in an early trailer, which can be viewed in the space below (via Central Partnership):

Everything we know about the challenge

To complete its historic filming on the ISS, The Challenge sent actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shepenko into space aboard a Soyuz transport vehicle in 2021. Once in orbit, Shepenko spent 12 days filming 30 hours of footage using cosmonauts as actors alongside Peresild as the main character Zhenya. Due to the lack of a full team, Shepenko was forced to take on multiple roles, acting as art director, makeup artist, and production designer. Ultimately, the footage shot in space is approximately 35 minutes of the finished film. The synopsis for The Challenge reads as follows:

Cosmonaut Ivanov loses consciousness while the spacecraft is in flight. The doctors decide that weightless heart surgery will be necessary. Heart surgeon Zhenya Belyaeva, who does not have time to raise her three-year-old daughter, prepares for the flight.

How Tom Cruise plans to take on the challenge

It may be too late for Cruise to become the first person to shoot a fictional movie in space, but the actor still plans to carry out his own mission on the ISS. As revealed to Variety recently, Cruise’s planned film will see him play “any man who discovers that only he has the ability to save the planet from an unspecified threat.” Longtime Cruise collaborators Doug Liman and Christopher McQuarrie are on board for the film, which is supposed to begin shooting after the completion of Mission: Impossible 8. Universal Pictures head Donna Langley also revealed that Cruise wants to become the first civilian to perform a spacewalk.

It remains to be seen if Cruise achieves his wish to fly aboard the ISS and even go on a spacewalk, of course, a feat the crew of The Challenge did not attempt. For one thing, it’s never a good idea to bet against Cruise, an actor and producer who specializes in confusing his opponents, as he did again this year when he launched Top Gun: Maverick into blockbuster status. But on the other hand, even Cruise has his limits, and flying into space to enjoy the magic of Hollywood might be going too far. But now that The Challenge has gone there, Cruise is no doubt even more motivated to achieve his own space dreams.

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