Tom Cruise is hoping to blast into the Hollywood record books by shooting the first action movie in space.
Nasa is working with Cruise to film aboard the International Space Station.
There are no details of the film, but Deadline – which first reported the story – said it would not be a new instalment of Mission: Impossible.
The report also said Cruise, 57, is also working with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which will transport two US astronauts to the ISS for Nasa later this month.
Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter: “Nasa is excited to work with Tom Cruise on a film aboard the Space Station!”
Musk replied to say the project “should be a lot of fun!”
Cruise played an astronaut in 2013 film Oblivion, when he safeguarded Earth’s natural resources from alien invaders.
He also narrated the 2002 Imax documentary Space Station 3D. It’s not known when the star will blast off to the ISS for real.
Despite the pandemic, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is due to take Nasa astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS on 27 May. The spacecraft can accommodate seven people.
Risky business: 4 daredevil stunts from Cruise’s career
As well as being one of Hollywood’s most popular action heroes, Cruise is known as a daredevil who does many of his own stunts.
In an interview about his new Top Gun sequel, co-star Miles Teller says: “I think when Tom hears that something’s impossible or can’t be done, that’s when he gets to work.”
That sounds not unlike his Mission: Impossible character Ethan Hunt, who has been seen in many of the most daring scenes.
1. Leaping off a roof (and breaking an ankle)
In 2017, he broke his ankle while jumping from one rooftop to another (attached to a cable) for Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Despite instantly knowing he was injured, he carried on by hauling himself onto the roof and running off.
“I knew it was broken,” he later told The Graham Norton Show. “I just said, ‘Ugh,’ and I ran past the camera. We got the shot, it’s in the movie.”
His co-star Simon Pegg joked: “Everyone said, when you got up and ran out of shot, ‘Oh, that’s so him. To complete the shot with your foot hanging off – that’s so him.'”
2. Climbing a skyscraper
In 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Hunt is seen scaling the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the world’s tallest building – from the outside.
Although Cruise trained for four months and was wearing a harness – which was edited out – he said he struggled with crosswinds as he tried to swing in through a window.
“It took a while to work out how not to come slamming into the building head first,” he said.
3. Hanging off a plane during take-off
In Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Cruise hangs from the side of a plane by his fingertips as it takes off. It was really him, and it was a real plane.
He performed the stunt four times over two days, again wearing a harness, but the crew had to scour the runway for the tiniest items that could have been thrown up and hit him.
“While we are going down the runway, we’re worried about bird strikes, any kind of particle that the propellers could pick up, any kind of stone,” Cruise told USA Today.
“I remember I got hit by a stone that was so tiny, you cannot believe. I thought it broke my rib. Lucky it went to my vest and not my hands or my face, it would have penetrated and gone right through.”
4. Falling off a cliff
One of his other famous stunts appears in the opening scene of Mission: Impossible 2, where Hunt climbs – and then almost falls off – a vertigo-inducing cliff, apparently with no ropes.
Cucumber-cool Cruise was actually attached to a thin safety wire, which was later erased – but that did little to calm director John Woo’s nerves.
“I was really mad that he wanted to do it, but I tried to stop him and I couldn’t,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I was so scared I was sweating. I couldn’t even watch the monitor when we shot it.”
NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality. pic.twitter.com/CaPwfXtfUv
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 5, 2020