The coronavirus continues to affect Hollywood as the virus spreads. The latest movie to have its plans altered is Mission: Impossible 7, which was scheduled to shoot for three weeks in Venice, Italy. Instead, due to a growing number of cases of the virus reported in the country, 219 and counting, Paramount Pictures has shifted plans and will not be moving ahead with filming as planned.
According to a new report, all public gatherings have been halted in Italy for the time being as a means to stop the spread of the virus. With much of the country effectively on lockdown, the crew for Mission: Impossible 7 will be sent home until filming begins. Paramount had this to say about the situation in a 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."
Christpoher McQuarrie, who directed the two previous entries in the franchise, Rogue Nation and Fallout, had been gearing up for the first leg of production in Italy. Tom Cruise is set to reprise his role as Ethan Hunt in the sequel. Following the success of Fallout, Paramount locked down the pair for two additional sequels. Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 are expected to shoot back-to-back.
It's unclear if the production shift will have any effect on the planned release dates. But with the coronavirus continuing to spread, all precautions are being taken. More than 79,000 people have been infected with the disease around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with the death toll rising past 2,600. In China, where the virus has hit hardest, movie theaters have been shut down across the country, which has hurt several major releases at the box office. The WHO has declared the coronavirus a public health emergency, and says that it has pandemic potential. Though, we're not at that point yet. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had this to say about it during a recent press briefing.
"For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or deaths. Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely it has. Are we there yet from our assessment? Not yet. So how should we describe the current situation? What we see are epidemics in different parts of the world, affecting countries in different ways and requiring a tailored response."
To date, the Mission: Impossible movies have grossed more than $3.5 billion at the global box office since launching in 1996. Series stars Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Vanessa Kirby and Henry Czerny are all set to return for the upcoming sequel, with Nicholas Hoult, Hayley Atwell, Shea Whigham and Pom Klementieff on board as newcomers. Mission: Impossible 7 is currently scheduled to arrive on July 23, 2021, with Mission: Impossible 8 set to arrive hit theaters on August 5, 2022. This news comes to us via Deadline.