Tom Cruise's 'Mission: Impossible VII' filming halted in Venice due to coronavirus outbreak
Paramount Studio announced the cessation of the planned three-week Venice shoot Monday morning, which would have been the first day of production for the action franchise which stars Cruise as death-defying IMF agent Ethan Hunt.
“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,'" the Paramount statement read. "We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves.”
Italy locks down 'hot spot' cities:WHO says coronavirus 'not yet' a pandemic
A swath of "hot spot" cities and towns across northern Italy went into lockdown Monday as authorities battled to contain a fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus that has killed 2,600 people in China.
In Italy, the death toll rose to five victims, with more than 200 cases of the virus confirmed. Venice shut down its iconic carnival three days early as Italy tightened restrictions on large public gatherings that could fan the spread of the virus.
Cruise's press representative Amanda Lundberg stated that the actor had not even arrived in Venice when shooting plans were halted (despite a story from Britain's Daily Mail that says Cruise is stuck at the luxurious Hotel Gritti Palace).
"Mission: Impossible VII" is slated for July 23, 2021 featuring Christopher McQuarrie writing and directing the franchise famed for its glorious global settings. The seventh and eighth installments will be shot back-to-back with the eighth released on Aug. 5, 2022.