Coronavirus: Mission Impossible filming halted over health fears

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Tom Cruise is set to appear in the seventh film in the Mission: Impossible series

Filming on the latest Mission: Impossible movie in Italy has been paused due to concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

Shooting on the seventh film in the series was due to take place in Venice over the coming weeks.

But Paramount has halted production after Italy recorded the worst outbreak of coronavirus in Europe.

There have been more than 200 cases in the country so far, including seven deaths.

The number of cases makes Italy the third worst-hit country in the world after China and South Korea.

Tom Cruise was not in Italy for the shoot, according to The Hollywood Reporter., but the production crew were sent home.

“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,” Paramount said in a statement.

“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.”

This isn’t the first time the Mission: Impossible franchise has been hit by difficulties.

Mission Impossible: Delays and difficulties

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  • During promotion for Mission: Impossible III, an advertising firm placed digital devices in 4,500 newspaper vending boxes in Los Angeles, which played the movie’s theme tune aloud whenever the door was opened. But some members of the public mistook the devices for bombs and reported them to police, who in turn detonated several of the news stands. An LA hospital was even evacuated for 90 minutes because of the apparent threat.
  • One scene in the first movie was shot outside the Lichtenstein Palace in Prague, but it turned out to be a far more expensive location than originally thought. Authorities initially quoted the filmmakers $2,000 (£1,540) per day, but when they turned up to shoot on the day the team was told the new price would be $23,200 (£17,860) per day.
  • Cruise has performed many of his own stunts during filming, but he’s occasionally been injured in the process. The actor cracked a couple of ribs while shooting Mission: Impossible 3, and in 2018 he broke his ankle jumping between buildings while shooting the sixth film, the footage of which was seen on The Graham Norton Show.
  • The third movie suffered a delay of a year after its director Joe Carnahan exited the project because of “creative differences”. Cruise was able to shoot an entire film (War of the Worlds) in the time it took for a new director to be appointed.
  • In 2015, Disney announced the title of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but Paramount felt this clashed too much with their fast-approaching fifth Mission Impossible film, Rogue Nation. Disney kept their title but agreed to hold off on promoting the film until the fifth M:I had been released.
  • Mission: Impossible 2, which was about the outbreak of a deadly virus, came up against horrible weather, logistical problems during city shoots and the defection of cinematographer Andrew Lesnie to the Lord of the Rings franchise. “This is one of the most difficult movies I’ve ever made,” director John Woo said at the time. “But we overcame. We kept fighting.”

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