Coronavirus halts production on ‘MI:7’

Not much has been able to stop Tom Cruise. If you remember on the set of Mission Impossible: Fallout, Cruise kept filming after he broke his ankle leaping from one roof to another. Now, according to a statement from Paramount, the studio has decided to halt production in Venice, Italy on Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise’s upcoming action sequel Mission: Impossible 7 due to the country’s recent Coronavirus outbreak.

Paramount issued the following statement, “Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three week shoot in Venice, the scheduled first leg of an extensive production for Mission: Impossible 7. During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves.”

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Italy currently has a reported 219 cases, which is the largest number of incidents outside of China, Japan and South Korea. A swath of “hot spot” cities and towns across northern Italy were in lockdown Monday as authorities battled to contain a fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus that has killed 2,600 people in China.

As a precaution, the local government has quarantined certain hotspots and stopped all public gatherings.

No cast members had reportedly arrived in Venice just yet, but crew members had already begun prepping for the shoot. They are now being immediately flown out of the country, either back home to their respective countries or possibly to another shooting location until the situation becomes more clear in Italy. 

Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) returns as Ethan Hunt, as well as fellow returning star Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), who is set to reprise her role as Ilsa Faust alongside franchise newcomers Hayley Atwell (Avengers: Endgame), Pom Klementieff (Avengers: Endgame), Shea Whigham (Joker) and Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Dark Phoenix). Henry Czerny (Sharp Objects) was also recently confirmed to reprise his role as Eugene Kittridge from the first film.

No word yet on who will actually make up Ethan Hunt’s team for his seventh and eighth (and probably final) adventures, but it’s more probable than not that some combination of Ving Rhames (Luther Stickell), Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn), Jeremy Renner (William Brandt), Angela Bassett (Erica Sloane), Vanessa Kirby (White Widow), Paula Patton (Jane Carter) and/or Maggie Q (Zhen Lei) will also be back in some capacity.

Both sequels are expected to film back-to-back, with Mission: Imposssible 7 set to light the fuse in theaters on July 23, 2021 while its sequel, Mission: Impossible 8, will open the following summer on August 5, 2022. 

SOURCE: Comic Book Movie News