For six films, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has overcome the impossible and done whatever it takes to complete the mission. But this time he’s up against a foe that will require more than a motorcycle stunt to defeat.
According to Deadline, Paramount has halted production on Mission: Impossible 7 after Italy reported 219 cases of the coronavirus, the largest number outside of China, Japan, and South Korea. Filming was to begin in Venice, which is now under a government lockdown as officials closed schools, museums, and public evens in addition to quarantining over 50,000 people to halt the spread of the virus:
This afternoon, 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.”
Despite tabloid reports to the contrary, Deadline has confirmed that Cruise was not in Italy when production shut down.
Barring a global pandemic, Mission: Impossible 7 is set to star Cruise and recurring castmembers Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson. Vanessa Kirby will reprise her role as the White Widow from Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and for the first time, Henry Czerny will return as Eugene Kittridge from the 1996 Mission: Impossible film. Rounding out the cast are series newcomers Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Nicholas Hoult (Tolkien), and Shea Whigham (Joker).