The first satellite in orbit, the first dog, the first man, the first woman, and now — if all goes according to plan — the first motion picture are all firsts.
On Thursday, a committee of medical and safety experts authorised a proposal for an actress and a director to go into space early next month to shoot the world’s first full-length fictional movie in space.
The film, titled “The Challenge,” recounts the storey of a doctor who is sent to the International Space Station on short notice in order to save the life of a cosmonaut. If it is completed on time next month, it will be the first picture to reach low-Earth orbit before Hollywood.
Tom Cruise’s intentions to shoot aboard the International Space Station were revealed by NASA last year. After that, Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, declared its intention to produce films.
When the cast and crew gathered for a press conference in Moscow before leaving for the premiere, the Russian actress, the director, and their backups (both roles had backups in case of an unexpected health issue) were upbeat and excited about a new frontier in the entertainment industry. Their goal was to depict weightlessness in a way that had never been done before in fiction and, via the talents of a professional actor, to convey the feelings of floating freely and viewing Earth from a higher perspective.
Ms. Peresild and Klim Shipenko, the director on the main crew, are to travel to and from the space station in a Soyuz capsule and spend a total of ten days shooting in the Russian portion of the space station, according to the mission plan. No date has been set for when NASA will begin work on its space film project, but Russian authorities were alarmed enough to change the timetable of a number of missions to accommodate the pair’s hurried launch.
The first flight is scheduled on October 5. The acceptance of the film by a committee at the Yuri Gagarin Center for Cosmonaut Training on Thursday removed a significant roadblock for the production. Ms. Peresild, 37, was rushed through training, which started last spring after she was cast in the role. She is eerily similar to the woman she would portray. She does not have any prior experience in space or flying.