By Anthony D’Alessandro – https://deadline.com
UPDATED with statement from Paramount: after 11:57PM post: As the number of cases of the coronavirus swell in Italy to a reported 219 cases, the biggest number outside of China, Japan, and South Korea, the Venice, Italy local government has put a stop to all public gatherings including a halt to the upcoming production of Paramount’s Mission: Impossible 7 in the floating city according to sources.
Paramount was to have set up production in Venice for three weeks on the Christopher McQuarrie-directed feature before it moved on to other foreign locations. Because borders are closing throughout Europe, and out of concern for their health and their safety, I hear that the Mission: Impossible 7 production will likely move the entire crew to another place, or to their home countries until they get a better sense of the continuing situation.
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.”
Tabloid reports have said that Tom Cruise was holed up in a luxury hotel after filming was shut down. I’m hearing that is false: The three-time Oscar nominee never even came to Italy. Mission: Impossible 7 is scheduled to be released on July 23, 2021. The entire franchise through six movies has amassed over $3.57 billion for Paramount.
Luca Zaia, President of the Veneto Region, has closed all schools and museums and canceled all cultural, sports, and public events, bringing an early stop to the Venice carnival. According to the New York Times today, Italy has locked down 50K people in ten northern towns to contain the coronavirus. As the coronavirus outbreak continues, this is apt to cause more headaches for film and TV productions worldwide, putting a huge damper on offshore location shoots.