It's a new kind of space race: Russia and the U.S. are trying to become the first to film a movie on board the International Space Station (ISS).
News that Tom Cruise would be launching up to the ISS by the end of 2021 has been made official as of last month.
Now, it seems that Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, and the country's largest TV channel, Channel One, are looking to send a starlet of their own up to the ISS for a movie of their own, per Russian news outlet, TASS.
U.S. vs. Russia
It looks like Cruise will be competing for his title as the first actor to be shot in space. Roscosmos and Channel One are on the hunt for a space worthy actress to beat Cruise to the punch.
Cruise is due to launch to the ISS in October 2021 aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship. That's about all we know about the American movie.
Russia's movie already has a potential title, aptly named 'The Challenge.' We see what you did there, Roscosmos and Channel One. But they don't yet have a lead actor, only that it'll be a woman. The auditions for a female lead role will be up soon, and it won't be like any other audition.
"We are seeking a woman who would be able to act on Earth, then endure the most demanding preparation, go to space and there, in the state of zero gravity, to sort the most complicated filming issues', said Russian general producer Alexey Trotsyuk to the Daily Mail.
"This decision was made by the film producers in the interests of the plot. Earlier, the producers of the project planned to hold casting sessions both among male and female actors, having two versions of the scenario on hand. However, in the process of work and discussion, they came to the conclusion that a female character would certainly be more actable," explained a report collected by TASS.
As with Cruise, the winner of Russia's actor spot will be thoroughly trained as a cosmonaut. Furthermore, she will have to be athletic, have a higher education, and no criminal record.
Now we'll have to wait and see who manages to film the first movie in space. A new international space race is on!