How Much Would It Cost to Film in Space?

By  · Published on November 3rd, 2009

While the rest of us were stumbling around a backyard dressed like Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds, Access Hollywood was busy running a brief interview with Wes Anderson in which the director claimed that he would love to shoot a film in space. Or at least get some of the scenes for a movie by actually filming in outer space.

For some reason, many other outlets decided it was news even though the only options here are that Anderson was joking or is crazy. As we all know, jokes only work as headlines for The Onion, and “Wes Anderson Is Crazy” wouldn’t even have been fresh information back in 2002.

But it got me thinking.

With so many people mocking the situation and claiming how outlandish it is, I decided I wanted to know just how (in dollars and cents) outlandish it really is.

So, I turned to an expert on the matter – the 5-year old that lives next door – who told me that it “costed eleventy billion dollars.” Since that didn’t seem right, I checked with NASA, and they claim that it costs around $450 million per shuttle mission.

That would essentially be the cost of Anderson capturing home movies of himself waving to mom with the vacuum of dark nothingness behind him. To actually shoot George Clooney in the suit doing a space walk might cost a few dollars more. And it doesn’t seem as if the International Space Station has accommodations for a dolly track.

I suppose Anderson could always get his straight-on, slow motion hero shot on a handicam, but why would he?

So, in short, for Anderson to make it into space, it would cost more than the most expensive movie ever made (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End at $300 million) before the cameras even start rolling. Add to that the average budget for a Wes Anderson joint ($25 million), and you have a grand total of $475 million to get the film in the can (plus the $15 million needed to market a film). So somewhere nearing $500 million (aka Half A Billion Dollars).

Of course, if he were really serious, he’d do it in IMAX 3D.

What do you think?

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