On Thursday, a UK-based company that claims to be producing Tom Cruise’s upcoming film in space said it plans to attach the first-ever space movie studio and sports arena to the International Space Station as early as 2024.
The producers behind Tom Cruise’s future movie in space have contracted Axiom Space to build a studio that will attach to a portion of the International Space Station.
Space Entertainment Enterprise, or S.E.E., the company also announced it is working with commercial space station builder Axiom Space, which has its own partnership with NASA to build and attach an experimental space station to the ISS. That station is called Axiom Station, and Axiom hopes to launch its first module, called Axiom Hub 1, to the ISS by 2024.
UK-based Space Entertainment Enterprise, co-founded by Elena and Dmitry Lesnevsky, says the undertaking will create “the world’s first content and entertainment studios and multi-purpose arena in space.”
S.E.E. plans to attach its own module to the growing space station in December of 2024. Dubbed SEE-1, the module will be available to individuals who want to film or live stream content in space.
The Lesnevskys are noted to be film producers behind the “first-ever Hollywood motion picture” filmed in space. A spokesperson for Space Entertainment Enterprise told CNBC more specifically that the company is “in production on the upcoming Tom Cruise movie.”
Later, NASA confirmed in a podcast that Axiom was going to be involved in getting Tom Cruise to orbit. While Axiom builds space stations, it has also contracted with NASA and SpaceX to buy rides on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to send private individuals to the ISS. Axiom’s first private astronaut mission on a Crew Dragon, called Axiom-1, is scheduled to take flight in March.
“Adding a dedicated entertainment venue to Axiom Station’s commercial capabilities in the form of SEE-1 will expand the station’s utility as a platform for a global user base and highlight the range of opportunities the new space economy offers,” Axiom president and CEO Michael Suffredini said in a statement.
The company says it’s currently looking for investors on the Tom Cruise space project, which Deadline reported in 2020 would have a budget of at least $200 million.
In 2020, NASA announced that it was working with the famous actor to potentially send him to the International Space Station to film a project. The actor’s ride to space is reportedly SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, which is used to ferry NASA astronauts to and from the ISS.
The SEE-1 module is an inflatable module, according to Axiom, which will have a diameter of nearly 20 feet. Using inflatable modules is an increasingly popular approach of private companies developing space stations to build large living areas, due to the advantage of launching in a smaller form factor and then expanding to a greater volume once in space.
Defunct space company Bigelow Aerospace connected its inflatable BEAM module to the International Space Station in 2016, which NASA continues to use for cargo storage on the research laboratory.
However, it’s possible the budget could be even higher, given how much going to space costs. Just one seat on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is thought to run around $55 million, plus NASA charges additional fees for private astronauts using the space station’s facilities while in orbit. S.E.E. says it plans to conduct a fundraising round soon.
In December, the Houston Airport System said Axiom was moving ahead with plans to develop a 14-acre headquarters campus at the Houston Spaceport. Axiom expects to move its headquarters to the new spaceport campus in 2023. Eventually, it could bring more than 1,000 jobs to the Houston area, HAS said.
With worldwide leader Axiom Space building this cutting-edge, revolutionary facility, SEE-1 will provide not only the first, but also the supreme quality space structure enabling the expansion of the $2 trillion global entertainment industry into low-Earth orbit.”