Some say the days of the Hollywood superstar are over, to be replaced by a new era of films that become hits thanks to fan-favorite characters like superheroes, being played by an ever-changing roster of unknown actors. But Tom Cruise has just reminded the world the advantages of being an old-fashioned movie star, one of the biggest the world has ever known. According to a report, Cruise was able to get Universal Pictures execs to commit to producing his ambitious Space Movie with a single phone call, and the simple act of being Tom Cruise.

The report states that Tom Cruise got on a Zoom call with Universal along with director Doug Liman, Christopher McQuarrie, and PJ van Sandwijk. Although they had no script to pitch, they were able to procure a production commitment of around $200 million based on the premise alone. Imagine an episode of Shark Tank where the investors started throwing blank checks at the startups that appeared before them asking for funding. That's basically what pitching a movie with Tom Cruise in the lead is like.

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Elon Musk is said to be a partner to the project through his company SpaceX, with McQuarrie, Cruise, Liman, and van Sandwijk working together to make the project a reality. Interestingly, while a $200 Million budget is quite large, it is not unheard of, and it is quite likely that the figure will go up much further once the actual logistics of sending the cast and crew into space are worked out.

Even though fans had joked for years that the only way for Cruise to top his own past stunts was to go into space, reports that the actor was actually going to film his next project in the upper atmosphere were treated as a joke at first. It was only after NASA and Musk confirmed they were working on the project with Cruise that audiences realized the actor was completely serious about pushing the limits, quite literally, in terms of the particular brand of action filmmaking that he has become famous for, where the stunts are performed for real instead of being filmed before a green screen.

Of course, the situation has been further complicated by the global lockdown and the social distancing measures that are going to be the norm for filmmaking for the immediate future. While space might actually be the safest place to film in at the moment in terms of sanitation, the cast and crew of the movie will have to be properly trained in order to be ready to work in a zero-gravity environment, and that will add many more steps to the process of getting the film made.

Knowing Cruise's love of a challenge, the complications are unlikely to dampen his will and desire to push the envelope and bring something new before the audience. The actor will next be seen returning to his iconic role as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, with McQuarrie helming both features, as well as Top Gun: Maverick, helmed by Joseph Kosinski. This news comes from Deadline.

Neeraj Chand