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.
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’.
Russia has released a trailer for ‘The Challenge’ – a film shot 250 miles (400 km) away from 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 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.
‘THE CHALLENGE’: THE FIRST MOVIE SHOT IN SPACE
The movie has been produced by space agency Roscosmos, Channel One and film studio Yellow, Black and White.
It is called ‘The Challenge’, and the space-based segments will feature actress Yulia Peresild in the lead role.
She will appear alongside Klim Shipenko, who will also direct the film.
Serving cosmonauts, Anton Shkaplerov, Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov will also appear in the film.
The film focuses on a doctor, played by Peresild, that has never been involved in the space program or has any interest in space travel.
That is until she is called on to travel to the International Space Station to save the life of a cosmonaut.
There is a suggestion the cosmonaut she has to save is also a friend.
Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov will also assist in the ‘rescue’ operation.
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.
Tom Cruise (pictured) is lined up for a project that hoped to achieve the title of first movie filmed in space, but has yet to be flown out
Actress Yulia Peresild and director and co-star Klim Shipenko made it to the ISS (pictured) onboard the Soyuz MS-19 to film ‘The Challenge’ in October 2021
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.
Peresild (pictured) is a stage and film actress who briefly studied philology in the city of Pskov before moving to Moscow to pursue acting.
‘The Challenge’ focuses on a doctor, played by Peresild, that has never been involved in the space program or has any interest in space travel
That is until she is called on to travel to the International Space Station to save the life of a cosmonaut
In October 2022, Universal chairwoman Donna Langley confirmed that the future blockbuster was still in the works, with Cruise as the lead.
She told the BBC: ‘We have a great project in development with Tom that does contemplate him taking a rocket to the Space Station.
‘Hopefully, he will become the first civilian to do a space walk outside of the International Space Station.
‘He will play a down-on-his-luck guy who finds himself in the position of being the only person who could save Earth.’
Director Klim Shipenko previously described the space-based movie as ‘an experiment,’ adding there is ‘nobody to get advice from’
‘The Challenge’ was filmed onboard the ISS in October 2021, just a few months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine
‘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)
The ISS, a science laboratory spanning the length of a football field, orbits about 250 miles (400 km) above the Earth and has been continuously occupied for two decades.
It is managed by a U.S.-Russian-led partnership that also includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries.
Space has remained a rare venue of cooperation between Moscow and Washington since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine and ensuing Western sanctions on Russia.
The ISS was launched in 1998 at a time of increased US-Russia cooperation following the Cold War ‘Space Race.’
Public private partnerships are expected to be a major part of the future of the ISS, with NASA pulling some of the funding to focus on the Moon.
In January 2022, Space Entertainment Enterprise revealed its plans for a film, TV, sport and entertainment broadcast module for the ISS, to launch in 2024.
It is being built by Axiom Space, which is working on its own tourist and research module for the station, also scheduled to launch and attach to the station in 2024.
Last year, NASA launched its first-ever space tourism mission, with three wealthy businessmen each spending $55 million (£41 million) for their two-week stay onboard.
EXPLAINED: THE $100 BILLION INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SITS 250 MILES ABOVE THE EARTH
The International Space Station (ISS) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) science and engineering laboratory that orbits 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.
It has been permanently staffed by rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts since November 2000.
Crews have come mainly from the US and Russia, but the Japanese space agency JAXA and European space agency ESA have also sent astronauts.
The International Space Station has been continuously occupied for more than 20 years and has been expended with multiple new modules added and upgrades to systems
Research conducted aboard the ISS often requires one or more of the unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit, such as low-gravity or oxygen.
ISS studies have investigated human research, space medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, astronomy and meteorology.
The US space agency, NASA, spends about $3 billion (£2.4 billion) a year on the space station program, with the remaining funding coming from international partners, including Europe, Russia and Japan.
So far 244 individuals from 19 countries have visited the station, and among them eight private citizens who spent up to $50 million for their visit.
There is an ongoing debate about the future of the station beyond 2025, when it is thought some of the original structure will reach ‘end of life’.
Russia, a major partner in the station, plans to launch its own orbital platform around then, with Axiom Space, a private firm, planning to send its own modules for purely commercial use to the station at the same time.
NASA, ESA, JAXA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are working together to build a space station in orbit around the moon, and Russia and China are working on a similar project, that would also include a base on the surface.