Russian officials announced late last week that a Soyuz rocket would launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 5, 2021, carrying an actor and director to shoot what is expected to be the first feature film made in space. The Russian actress is 36-year-old Yulia Peresild, who has a long list of theater and feature film credits to her name.
Pereslid was selected by a State Commission to play the lead in a movie called “Challenge.” The movie director, Klim Shipenko, will also go into space along with the actress to oversee filming. Russian officials say the Soyuz spacecraft will dock with the ISS to begin production of the movie.
The Russian crew will have to be quick to grab the title of the first feature film shot in space. Actor Tom Cruise is planning a flight to the ISS in October to film a feature-length drama aboard the space station. Cruise’s film is being backed by NASA and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Tom Cruise is significantly older than the Russian actress at 59 years old.
While everyone knows Tom Cruise from key roles like “Top Gun” and the “Mission Impossible” franchise, many might not be familiar with Peresild. She played a lead role in the 2015 film called “Battle for Sevastopol,” where she played a Red Army sniper. Director Shipenko is known best for a movie called “Salyut 7,” which was a dramatization of a Soviet mission to save an orbital space station.
Real drama has been brewing between NASA and Russia in recent months. Russia has hinted that it might pull out of the ISS program completely. Russia and China are also increasing their cooperation in space, with China working on its own space station.