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  "Oblivion" with Tom Cruise: NASA, space history

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Author Topic:   "Oblivion" with Tom Cruise: NASA, space history
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27626
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-02-2013 01:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the feature film "Oblivion," opening on April 19, actor Tom Cruise plays former Marine commander Jack Harper, who is stationed on Earth and assigned to extract the planet's few remaining resources.

The sci-fi movie, which was written and directed by Joseph Kosinski ("TRON: Legacy"), was filmed in part at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana.

Without giving away any spoilers, as the cast list shows, NASA exists (or existed) in the film's version of reality, with several actors playing NASA flight controllers.

Last year, I was contacted by the filmmakers to see if I'd be available to come to the set and train Cruise to do something he will be seen doing in the film. In the end, they found someone else who is more directly connected with the activity, but it was neat to be approached just the same.

The film's Russian premiere was on Monday (April 1), where Cruise and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov were photographed together.


Photo credit: Reuters/Burnyashev

p51
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Posts: 816
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-02-2013 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting, I had no idea they were including NASA in the fictional reality of the film. Often, producers will make up a space agency so they don't have to worry about NASA reactions.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27626
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-02-2013 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA's permission is needed to use the agency's name, insignia or other specific reference in films. Sometimes the request is made hand in hand with the desire to film on NASA property, as was done in "Oblivion."

GoesTo11
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Posts: 1053
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 04-02-2013 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting! I'm actually pretty excited about what I've seen of "Oblivion." Like a lot of people, I'm ambivalent at best about Tom Cruise, but he's perfectly fine leading an action-driven flick in a role that doesn't require a lot of emoting.

Also, he's been a licensed pilot since '94 and owns and flies a P-51 Mustang. So there's that.

Atlantis
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Posts: 109
From: Cullman, AL
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 04-02-2013 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Atlantis   Click Here to Email Atlantis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a NASA Meatball on the "escape pod" at 1:35.

bwhite1976
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Posts: 155
From: belleville, IL USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-03-2013 07:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unless it gives away too much of the movie, I am curious as to what activity Tom Cruise needed specialized training for?

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27626
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-03-2013 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That would be a spoiler.

cspg
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Posts: 4151
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-03-2013 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
...but he's perfectly fine leading an action-driven flick in a role that doesn't require a lot of emoting.
Mark Wahlberg would beat him to that!

Some similar artistic similarities with Tron Legacy (the only worthy aspect of the movie along with "13").

spaceman
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Posts: 928
From: Walsall, West Midlands, UK
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 04-23-2013 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman   Click Here to Email spaceman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Went to see the film on Sunday evening, stunning effects and great plot twists. Real escapism, enjoyed it a lot. Andrea Riseborough... nice.

How did Beech know the exact line that Jack read in the poem or that he even read the book? Go see the film and check it out. A wandering nose wound too... did you help out with that Robert? Or was it the weightless sequence? Or perhaps some space memorabilia found its way onto the set?

They wore patches but not enough detail.

p51
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Posts: 816
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 09-05-2013 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, the movie is out on DVD and I finally saw it yesterday. Robert, I still have no clue what you trained Cruise to do. I noticed in the credits they had an astronaut listed as a 'shuttle consultant'.

So could you tell us now what you did for Cruise in the film?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27626
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-05-2013 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
Robert, I still have no clue what you trained Cruise to do.
To be clear, I didn't train Cruise; as noted in my original post, "they found someone else who is more directly connected with the activity."

And as you saw in the credits, that person was astronaut Rick Searfoss, who showed Cruise how to "fly" the shuttle-like spacecraft seen in the movie.

The set director for the film was familiar with collectSPACE and knew of my time spent inside the real orbiters, and as such recommended me as someone familiar with the layout of the flight deck.

p51
Member

Posts: 816
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 09-05-2013 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry, I hadn't gone back and read your post on the specifics.

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