‘The Challenge’: Russia releases trailer for first feature-length movie filmed in space
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The space race has expanded to new frontiers in recent years, moving into business, tourism… and now the cinema.
Russian filmmakers have a Tuesday trailer for ‘The Challenge’, the very first feature film to be shot in space in 2021.
The trailer outlines the film’s plot: a surgeon, Zhenya, played by Russian actress Yulia Peresild, has to perform heart surgery on a sick cosmonaut in space because he is unable to return to Earth for treatment. The patient is played by the real cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy.
Produced by the Yellow, Black and White studio and Channel One Russia – a state-controlled TV channel – in conjunction with the country’s space agency, Roscomos, the film “is intended to popularize Russia’s space activities and to (the ) to glorify the cosmonaut profession. read a statement announcing the project.
Peresild and producer-director Klim Shipenko traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) – 400 kilometers above the Earth – together with veteran Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov in October 2021 and filmed the film over 12 days.
Peresild was selected to star in the film after Roscomos posted an open casting call in November 2020. In addition to providing an audition tape, future stars had to undergo medical, psychological and physical tests to make sure they could meet the demands of space travel.
Just a few months after filming on the ISS wrapped, Russia invaded Ukraine and later announced in July 2022 that it planned to leave the space station – which it operates in conjunction with NASA – after 2024.
Although “The Challenge” is the first full-length film shot in space, it is not the first project shot aboard the ISS. Past films include a 2002 IMAX documentary voiced by Tom Cruise, and an eight-minute sci-fi film from 2012 by entrepreneur and space tourist Richard Garriott.
Cruise and director Doug Liman had hoped to win the prize for the first feature film shot in space, reveal in 2020 that they were working on a project with NASA and Elon Musk’s Space X.
“The Challenge” comes out on April 12.