Shooting for the latest installment of the Mission Impossible series has been suspended amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak in Italy, The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Monday.
Filming, which was scheduled to take place in Venice, has been suspended largely as a response to the outbreak in Italy, where at least 150 cases of the coronavirus have already been confirmed, causing at least six fatalities.
“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,” a spokesperson for Paramount Pictures told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.
“During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts,” the spokesperson continued. “We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves.”
Cruise, who had not yet traveled to Italy for the shoot, will once again reprise his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt alongside the likes of Rebecca Ferguson, Nicholas Hoult, Hayley Atwell, Shea Whigham, Pom Klementieff, and Henry Czerny.
Mission: Impossible is not the only Paramount film impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, which remains an international health emergency as classified by the World Health Organization. On Monday, the studio also announced the postponement of Sonic the Hedgehog from release in China because of the widespread shutdown of movie theaters across the mainland.
“As the whole country and world unite together to fight the outbreak of coronavirus, we would like to express our gratitude and respect to all the medical staff, the rescue personnel, and people in service who provide us with much-needed assistance and support during this time,” the studio said in a statement.
As of Monday afternoon, there were approximately 80,000 cases confirmed worldwide, the vast majority of which are on the Chinese mainland. At least 2,500 have died, while around 25,000 people have made a full recovery.
The latest Mission: Impossible film will be released July 23rd, 2021, while the eighth installment is currently scheduled in August 2022.