One of the defining features of the Mission Impossible series was the various exotic locales that Ethan Hunt and his team visited in the interests of their assignments, from Abu Dhabi to the Vatican. But that may soon change, as Variety has revealed that the producers of Mission: Impossible 7 are mulling over whether or not to keep the film's shoot entirely on home soil.

"In the short run, actors like Tom Cruise may not be taking those trips to Italy. Insiders suspect that many productions that once eyed foreign locales will be reconfigured to film in the U.S. while travel restrictions remain in place. In the case of Mission: Impossible 7 the filmmakers are trying to decide whether or not to scrap the Italian leg of production or push that part of shooting back until fall."
RELATED: The Batman, Mission: Impossible 7 Exempt from Quarantine as Filming Resumes in the U.K.

The movie, which is the seventh installment in the franchise, was in the middle of shooting in Italy when the global lockdown started to fall into place. This led to work being halted temporarily to be picked up later. And yet, with the lockdown still firmly in place and not looking to be lifted any time soon, studios are being forced to devise strategies for new ways to shoot movies in keeping with the demands of the lockdown.

That means curtailing any or all foreign shoots and trying to keep as much of the work indoors as possible. For action franchises like Mission Impossible or Fast and Furious, such restrictions can be tantamount to a death sentence, since they rely on big-budget action scenes that are impossible to shoot inside a studio.

But at this point, waiting for public conditions to get better seems impractical. With every new day of paused production comes a mounting pile of bills for the studio, and a further pushback of the movie's release date.

So it could be likely that the new Mission Impossible movie keeps its action on home soil, and whatever adrenaline-soaked hi-jinx Ethan Hunt gets involved in take place around LA itself. After all, the focus of the series has always been Cruise performing one death-defying stunt after another, and they will be no less thrilling to watch when done in the US.

The news of Mission Impossible's scrapped plans are another addition to the long list of ways Hollywood is trying to adapt to the drastically transformed entertainment landscape created by the lockdown. The changes have been felt across the board, from changed rules to moviemaking, to testing to see to what extent VOD can be used to replace theaters.

The future of large-scale movies, not just action films, has been called into question in the absence of the theater chains that once propelled them to a billion+ dollars box office figures. Mission Impossible following a more restricted and small-scale plan for shooting could very well turn out to be a trend that big budget studios begin to follow more and more in the coming days. This news comes from Variety.

Neeraj Chand