Filming didn’t even begin on Mission: Impossible 7 for the film’s first production hiccup to arrive. The highly anticipated sequel had planned to kick off production with a three-week leg of shooting in Venice, Italy, but the crew have been sent home and the plans halted due to the spread of the Coronavirus. An outbreak occurred in the country and now more than 150 cases have been confirmed, with the government halting all public gatherings.
As a response, Paramount Pictures said in a statement that Mission: Impossible 7 filming plans have been altered:
“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.”
Filming details for Mission: Impossible 7 have thus far been kept under wraps. After successfully spearheading both Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Fallout as writer and director (and Ghost Protocol as screenwriter), Christopher McQuarrie signed on to write and direct both Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8. Thus far, McQuarrie has confirmed that Nicholas Hoult, Hayley Atwell, Shea Whigham, and Pom Klementieff are joining the ensemble with Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, and Simon Pegg confirmed to return alongside franchise star Tom Cruise. And recently, we learned that Henry Czerny will be reprising his role as Kittridge from the first Mission movie.
It’s unclear where else McQuarrie and Co. planned to shoot Mission 7, but this isn’t the first time he’s had to alter plans on the fly. McQuarrie famously came in and extensively reworked the script for Ghost Protocol during production, conceived of, wrote, and shot the third act for Rogue Nation in the middle of filming, and similarly reworked characters and plot machinations during the production of Fallout. Such is the process of making a Mission: Impossible movie—a process with which McQuarrie has made peace. Although I’m not quite sure it’s ever happened this early.
But health and safety come first, so it’ll be interesting to see if production scraps its planned sequences in Italy and moves elsewhere or if they’ll return later on in the filming process to capture the necessary scenes.
Whatever the case, Mission: Impossible 7 arrives in theaters on July 23, 2021 and Mission: Impossible 8 opens on August 5, 2022.