Who should go to space first: Fast & Furious or Tom Cruise? An EW investigation
Does Fast 10 already have a title? Well, it doesn't matter anymore, because I've got the perfect one: Fast & Furious v Tom Cruise: Race to the Moon.
On Tuesday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the organization is collaborating with the stunt-obsessed Tom Cruise on a movie filmed aboard the space station. The news followed Deadline's report that Cruise, Elon Musk's SpaceX, and NASA are working on the first narrative feature film to be shot in space. Well, that is if Dominic Toretto doesn't beat him there!
Sometimes it's easy to forget the humble beginnings of the Fast & Furious family, a group that enjoyed the simple pleasures of life: illegal street racing, stealing DVD players, and sipping on an ice cold Corona. In recent years, they've left that life behind to save the world, whether it be by flying cars, redirecting torpedoes with their bare hands, battling submarines, or facing off with "Black Superman." The continued raising of the stakes has often led to the joke that space was next for Dom (Vin Diesel), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), and the rest of the crew. But, when EW talked to him last year, Chris Morgan, the writer behind Hobbs & Shaw and five other Fast films, wouldn’t close the (spaceship) door on launching the Fast family off of Earth.
“I would never shoot down space,” Morgan told EW. “Never, never. I would literally never shoot down anything, as long as it hits the parameters: ‘Is it badass? is it awesome? Will the audience love it? And will it not break faith with the audience as they’re watching it?’ I’m down for whatever.”
All of this naturally begs the question — Who should win this race to space: Fast & Furious or Tom Cruise? We'll decide in our EW investigation.
The Fast & Furious case
Before we dive into the argument for the Fast franchise winning this space war, I should admit my biases. I'm ride-or-die for these films. And that's no exaggeration, like I legit will happily make the argument that Fast Five is the greatest feat in cinema history. Okay, now that my conscience is clear, let's get into it.
Some of the case for Fast was already laid out above, and not to be repetitive but, they already FLY CARS, REDIRECT TORPEDOES WITH THEIR BARE HANDS, BATTLE SUBMARINES, AND FACE OFF WITH "BLACK SUPERMAN!" Just imagine with this ragtag group of racers-turned-super spies could do with a little NASA training. Think Armaggedon, but with bigger muscles, bigger cars, and bigger jokes.
As previously referenced, the most recent Fast film, Hobbs & Shaw, featured Idris Elba’s genetically enhanced super-soldier Brixton Lore, who fancied himself “Black Superman.” Like, if we're in a world with genetically enhanced super-soldiers going by the nickname "Black Superman," then we're ready to go out of this world.
The Tom Cruise case
That was quite the evidence for Fast, but the argument for Cruise is also pretty simple. Let's pretend that we could erase your short-term memory and you never saw the headline "Tom Cruise and NASA are officially shooting a movie in space." Now, look at this headline "[Movie star] and NASA are officially shooting a movie in space." With no knowledge of the original, Cruise would absolutely be the first name to come to mind when guessing who the hell would be crazy enough and ambitious enough to do this.
We're talking about a 57-year-old who is willing to put his body in harm's way for any stunt or movie. It's really to the point where he seems totally prepared to die making a movie, and that would probably be the way he'd choose to go.
You think I'm exaggerating? Here's EW's reporting from 2018 CinemaCon and Mission: Impossible - Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie talking about a stunt that required Cruise to jump out of a plane and execute a high-altitude, low-opening dive:
“We had to find a way to do it so you could see Tom’s face all the time…and then we decide how much we’re attempting to do that’s physically possible without killing Tom,” McQuarrie explained.
The final result, shown to audiences on Wednesday night, doesn’t just stop at the insanely risky nature of the dive. The story sees Walker and Hunt both struck by lightning as they plummet towards the ground, and Hunt has to swap Walker’s oxygen hose with his own to save him, all within the window of having to open their parachutes in time. Never one to back away from the challenge, Cruise actually performed the stunt as planned.
The CinemaCon audience also got to see an extended scene from Mission Impossible: Fallout that sees Hunt and Walker try to intercept a hostage in an operation that leads to a high-speed chase through city streets that Hunt navigates with nail-biting agility. A montage of action sequences included the leap between high-rise building roofs that led Cruise to break his ankle and temporarily shut down production, but gave McQuarrie his “money shot.”
Plus, let's be honest, he's probably been seeking alien payback since War of the Worlds.
Damn, this is tough. Probably the toughest decision since deciding who in Fast & Furious is the fastest and furiousest (congrats, D0m!). In the end, I've decided neither is the winner...because the best result is them joining forces! Originally, the title Fast & Furious v Tom Cruise: Race to the Moon was a joke, but now it seems like the only logical answer. Fast & Furious keeps upping the ante, both with their villains and stakes, and no one likes to up the ante more than Cruise. Imagine Cruise as a rogue astronaut who is traveling the galaxy and building his own alien army — who better to call to race after him?
As Dom would say: "I live my life a quarter lightyear at a time."