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Director Doug Liman shares his excitement (and fear) about blasting into space with Tom Cruise
Director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Jumper) is blasting himself and Tom Cruise into outer space to film his next movie. That’s right — outer space, a place that isn’t on Earth and doesn’t have the planet’s pesky gravity getting in the way.
The project had been confirmed in May, but we hadn't heard the director's thoughts about the ambitiousness of the production. Now, in an interview with Deadline, Liman shared how development on this unprecedented production is going.
“Things come out of our mouths like, we’re going to shoot this scene on Earth, or this scene won’t be shot on Earth,” Liman said. “That just gets uttered casually and often during prep meetings. That’s not lost on me, and I don’t think it’s lost on Tom. I think the reason that Tom is such a superstar is, as much as we’re talking about making a movie not on Earth, I think Tom very much has both of his feet planted on the ground. And more than anyone I’ve ever worked with, he appreciates the extraordinary opportunity he has to go make movies.”
Feet on the ground or not, the logistics of such a production sound daunting. Elon Musk, unsurprisingly, is involved to help make it happen, and Musk’s SpaceX capsule will be the production site for the non-Earth scenes in the movie.
And then, of course, there’s the unavoidable fact that Liman has to fly well outside Earth's atmosphere. On a rocket ship. Something only a handful of humans have ever done, and something that more than a few people would say would be more than a bit unnerving.
“I had been to the SpaceX launch in the beginning of the summer. It scared me, imagining myself in that rocket, venturing out into unknown places,” admits Liman, who piloted himself across the Atlantic to film his latest movie, Lock Down. “I thought the flight would be a good first step towards getting the courage to strap myself in that rocket with Tom Cruise.”
Flying a plane across the Atlantic, impressive as that may be, is still an Earth-bound endeavor. But Liman is no stranger to the exciting. “I like facing my fears. I love my films being an adventure. Earlier in my career, that caused friction with studios who didn’t quite get that, who maybe don’t want their directors treating the film like an adventure. I’ve since found like-minded people who celebrate that,” Liman explained. “Going into space, who doesn’t get that that’s going to be an adventure? So, rather than me changing to fit this corporate Hollywood approach, I have found the people in Hollywood who appreciate that I treat every film like an adventure.”
A real-life space movie starring Tom Cruise is certainly an adventure. No news yet on when this adventure will take place, much less make it to our screens.