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The International Space Station from above. Photo: NASA

NASA and Tom Cruise are in talks to shoot a movie onboard the International Space Station, the space agency's administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed in a tweet Tuesday.

Why it matters: NASA has been looking for new ways to try to commercialize the space station, and filming a movie on location in orbit could be one way to do just that.

What's happening: So far, no studio is attached to the project, and SpaceX may be involved, according to a report from Deadline, but details about the film are still scant.

The big question: It's not yet clear whether Cruise himself will fly to the space station for the film.

Background: "The idea of filming a movie in space is not new; directors James Cameron and Rian Johnson, for example, have spoken about their desires to shoot scenes from Earth orbit," Robert Pearlman, who runs the space history website CollectSPACE.com, told Axios.

  • This wouldn't be Cruise's first brush with space either. The actor narrated the film "Space Station 3D" in 2002 that used footage gathered from orbit.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Aug 11, 2020 - Science

SpaceX and ULA pull in huge defense contracts

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket takes flight. Photo: SpaceX

The Space Force's announcement last week that United Launch Alliance and SpaceX will launch expensive spy satellites and other military payloads brings a long and often fierce battle for government funds to an end — at least for now.

Why it matters: This type of government money — particularly in light of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic — is key for space companies that often work on thin margins.

Aug 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Video rentals rise as theater windows shrink

Data: PwC and Digital TV Research; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a trend of studios pushing more movies to be made available for a premium rental price via a ticketed on-demand deal.

What they're saying: "With film fans spending more time at home, we have seen steady growth on both our FandangoNOW and Vudu platforms,” says Fandango Home Entertainment Vice President Cameron Douglas.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.