Russia announced on Thursday that it would send an actress and a director into space to make the first feature film in space, as well as an eccentric Japanese billionaire to the International Space Station. The Russian space agency announced the film project after NASA confirmed last year that it was collaborating with US action star Tom Cruise to make a film on the International Space Station.
According to Roscosmos, the Russian space drama “Challenge” will star popular Russian actress Yulia Peresild, 36, and Klim Shipenko, a 37-year-old US-educated director and actor. They will have to go through training, which will include centrifuge tests, parachute jumps, and zero-gravity flights, beginning no later than June 1.
To prepare the film crew for their space adventure, a mockup of the Russian segment of the ISS will be used. The launch of a Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome has been scheduled for October 5.
“Wish us luck,” Peresild wrote on Instagram.
Dmitry Rogozin, the flamboyant head of Roscosmos, and the state-run network Channel One are co-producing the film.
The film, according to Channel One general director Konstantin Ernst, is part of a major project to help Russians rediscover their “love and passion” for the human spaceflight programme, which will also include the production of documentary films.