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James Cameron once had a bonkers idea to make a movie with Tom Cruise in outer space

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Nov 30, 2018, 4:56 PM EST

James Cameron is a director known for pushing the limits of what is possible in the field of filmmaking. He's also a patient guy, content to wait for technology to catch up with his ambitions.

While he waits, Cameron does stuff like travel to unfathomable depths of the planet's oceans; we're talking as deep as the human body can stand before being crushed by the pressure. So, it's safe to assume that when he was done with the oceans, he'd set his sights on the opposite, outer space, right? 

Answering fan questions for Empire Magazine's latest issue, the Avatar writer/director, talked about a period in the early 2000s when he played around with the idea of making a legit movie in outer space with none other than Tom Cruise

"It's the only thing Tom Cruise hasn't done," he said, referring to the Mission: Impossible franchise's death-defying stunts and set pieces. "I actually talked to him about doing a space film in space about 15 years ago. I had a contract with the Russians in 2000 to go to the International Space Station and shoot a high-end, 3-D documentary there. And I thought, 'Sh**!, man, we should just make a feature.' I said, 'Tom, you and I, we'll get two seats on the Soyuz, but somebody's gotta train us as engineers. Tom said, 'No problem, I'll train as an engineer.' We had some ideas for the story, but it was still conceptual." 

Can you imagine if they'd actually gone through with it. The movie would be the first of its kind, unique and nearly-impossible to challenge. Had Cameron and Cruise succeeded, Alfonso Cuarón may have never tried his hand at Gravity. The same goes for Duncan Jones and MoonChristopher Nolan and Interstellar. A feature-length film actually filmed in the genuine zero gravity of outer space would have been, to borrow a phrase from Private Hudson, "game over" for any poor imitators.