How Tom Cruise & Doug Liman pitched way to $200 million Universal commitment on space film with Elon Musk

They pitched the picture with…no script ready yet!

What did Universal Pictures execs require to commit to liftoff of the first-ever narrative feature film to shoot in outer space? According to sources, all it took was an exuberant Zoom call with Tom Cruise, director Doug Liman, Christopher McQuarrie and PJ van Sandwijk. They pitched the picture with no script (Liman is writing it), and came away with a production commitment around $200 million.

Sources said that Space X’s Elon Musk will be a partner in the project and the expectation is that McQuarrie — Cruise’s writer/director on the Mission: Impossible films — will have a ground control role as story advisor and producer alongside Cruise, Liman and van Sandwijk.

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The $200 million figure is an estimate, considering the project is still being scripted and the unprecedented logistics, but it costs more to make space-set blockbusters that never require breaking through the atmosphere. It seems a reasonable sum to make movie history for a movie studio in this pandemic moment when streamers are making all the noise.

Read more: Deadline

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