The spread of COVID-19, popularly known as coronavirus, is becoming a bit of a sideshow. Deadly serious in many cases, international fumbling of the virus can be seen on national levels in some countries, leading to a ballooning epidemic that ineptitude is making worse. Whether some are over or under-reacting, cases vary. But the spread of the virus is making its mark on Hollywood in one way or another.
With Paramount stepping in to make the alteration, Mission: Impossible 7, the tentatively-titled upcoming entry in Tom Cruise’s blockbuster franchise, is having a planned three-week shoot in Venice, Italy postponed over fears of the virus. With Italy having reported 150 cases of the virus, the Venetian government has issued a statement to avoid large crowds and public spaces as much as possible. Naturally, a massive Hollywood production with Tom Cruise at the center would gather an onlooker or two.
Paramount cites the “safety and well-being of [the] cast and crew,” going on to confirm that the crew will “return home until production starts.” What this likely means is that the Italian stretch of the shoot is simply being reworked in the timeline, with stars and key filmmakers like director Christopher McQuarrie and cinematographer Fraser Taggart off elsewhere, filming the globe-trotting adventures of Ethan Hunt and his band of spies.
We’ve seen the fear of coronavirus shut down other big-name events, with many others likely altered to accommodate the health of all involved. Few are as high-profile as a multimillion dollar Tom Cruise vehicle, though.
McQuarrie previously directed Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in 2015 and 2018’s Fallout, the later of which went on to be the most successful film in the franchise’s history. He’s signed on to direct the seventh and eighth films in the series, which he also writes.
Whether the production kerfuffle will delay M:I7‘s release is unclear, though one hopes everyone remains safe, healthy, and ready to save the world from both fictional and real catastrophes. The seventh Mission: Impossible is scheduled for release on July 23, 2021.