Filming on the latest Mission: Impossible movie in Italy has been halted due to coronavirus concerns.
Production on the seventh instalment in the saga, starring Tom Cruise and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, had been due to begin with a three-week stint in the city of Venice, but the crew was sent home by studio executives at Paramount Pictures as Italian government officials continue their efforts to contain the epidemic.
“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 statement from the studio read.
“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.”
An outbreak of the coronavirus has recently occurred in northern Italy, forcing officials to place lockdown restrictions on more than 50,000 people in affected areas.
Cases in the country have surged to more than 200, with seven deaths, prompting tough action from the government to contain the epidemic, which originated in Wuhan, China late last year.
The action thriller, which also stars Vanessa Kirby, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Hayley Atwell and Nicholas Hoult, is scheduled to be released in July 2021. It is being filmed back-to-back with the eighth instalment, which will hit cinemas the following year.
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