Back in May, we found out that actor Tom Cruise decided that jumping out of airplanes with a camera three inches from his face was not nearly intense enough for his movies and that he wanted to go to literal space. A new film, with Cruise starring and producing and Doug Liman directing, will be made with the full cooperation of SpaceX and NASA and will bring Cruise and the production crew to actual space. When this news first broke, it seemed like a natural fit for Paramount Pictures who have been indulging Cruise's whims for insane stunts for six Mission: Impossible movies and counting at the time of writing, but it seems that might not be the case. According to Deadline, it's not Paramount that is circling the production but Universal Pictures. The movie already has an estimated budget of $200 million, and that's probably coming in on the low end considering how massive of a production this is going to be and the insurance needed for Cruise and the crew alone.
One insider close to the project also echoed the worries about insurance and logistics when it comes to shooting a movie outside of Earth's orbit saying, "you can't be sure what you're going to get up there, and you have one shot to do it." This is true since there isn't a lot of room for error when it comes to this sort of thing. You can't really reset back to one when resetting back to one involves using machinery worth several billion dollars. Despite the apparent bidding war, there is apparently no script yet.
There is also an interesting detail that apparently, two streaming services were not even invited to bid on the project according to another insider. This is the sort of film that they would like to have a big theatrical push, no doubt wanting to bring the feeling of space travel to the audience through something immersive like IMAX similar to the way that Cruise is bringing flight to audiences in Top Gun: Maverick. This is all ignoring the very concept of time itself. Cruise might be in the best shape of his life, but he's still a man in his late 50's and the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed everything back. This movie is at least two years away from getting off of the ground, and Cruise could be in his 60's by the time he heads out into space. This is also hoping he doesn't sustain any serious injuries on the set of the next two Mission: Impossible movies which are currently in production for Paramount. If Universal does make this investment, they are rolling a massive dice that could change the movie business as we know it. If it fails or someone gets seriously injured? Well, they have the Fast and Furious and Jurassic World movie, but even they might not be enough to make up for that kind of loss.