EXCLUSIVE: Doug Liman will boldly go where no film director has gone before. Liman plans to accompany Tom Cruise on the action adventure film to be shot in outer space that is being mounted independently (for now) and involves Elon Musk’s Space X and NASA. Liman, who directed Cruise on the movies American Made and Edge of Tomorrow, and who separately directed such hits as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity, Go and Swingers, is eager to re-team on this first of its kind project, I’m told.
This is not some loose attachment. Liman and Cruise hatched this whole thing together, with Liman writing the first draft of the screenplay and producing along with Cruise. Deadline revealed on May 4 that Cruise was planning this feat, to actually travel to space in a craft to shoot the film, and the scoop hung out there until NASA confirmed its participation a day later.
Elon Musk, in partnership with NASA, will tomorrow launch the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida carrying two American astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center, an historic rocket born from a groundbreaking public-private partnership that will put the U.S. back in the business of human spaceflight for the first time in a long time.
Liman and Cruise are collaborators and pals who are both pilots and bonded over an adventurous spirit. Each guy has work to finish before heading into space. Liman is in postproduction in the Lionsgate/BRON film Chaos Walking, with Daisy Ridley starring alongside Tom Holland, Mads Mikkelsen, Cynthia Erivo and Nick Jonas. Cruise had Top Gun: Maverick pushed from summer to December 23, and he and Christopher McQuarrie are eagerly waiting to get back to work in Mission: Impossible 7 after the film’s imminent start was delayed when the coronavirus pandemic shut down all Hollywood productions in March. The Paramount/Skydance film just hired Esai Morales to play a key villain, after Nicholas Hoult was knocked out due to a scheduling conflict and production is expected to start late summer or early fall.
Clearly the space film will have an unprecedented pre-production that will involve training to be able to withstand an outer space flight, but I’m told in no uncertain terms these guys are serious and hopeful this can happen in the very near future.
Somewhere, can you imagine that James Cameron — who did his own groundbreaking deep sea dives for his films — saying, how am I not on this space ship?
Cruise has shown he is the most daring movie star around, and his preparation is becoming as legendary as the stunts themselves. Despite that, Cruise broke his ankle in a leap from one rooftop to the other and he also hung from a helicopter in Mission Impossible: Fallout; he hung from the side of a jet plane during takeoff in Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, and in Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol he scaled the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai skyscraper, and executed stunts 123 floors up.
CAA reps both Cruise and Liman.