'Mission: Impossible 7' Stops Production In Venice Due To Coronavirus

Mission: Impossible 7 has suffered a setback. Due to the coronavirus, Paramount Pictures has altered its plans for a three-week shoot in Venice, Italy, releasing a statement on Monday which essentially explained that they won't take any unnecessary chances when it comes to the deadly disease.

"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 said on Monday (via THR). "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."

While the coronavirus has largely been affecting people in China, it has spread to a handful of other countries, including South Korea, Iran, Croatia, and more. Italy has more than 150 confirmed cases of the disease, and the government has shut down Venice's planned carnival celebrations as part of its request for people there to avoid gathering in public.

Mission: Impossible movies have suffered setbacks worse than this (remember when Tom Cruise shattered his ankle making Fallout?), so I'm glad this is a preventative shutdown instead of something more serious for those involved. It's unclear to me whether production will actually resume in Venice or if writer/director Christopher McQuarrie will have to rethink that portion of the film entirely. McQuarrie is one of the only modern blockbuster directors I can think of who lets his locations inspire what happens in the story, so here's hoping the citizens of Venice are deemed safe soon and the production can return to Venice.

The production hiatus on the last movie due to Cruise breaking his ankle gave McQuarrie time to cut together everything they'd shot so far and have a new perspective on it. He essentially rewrote the entire second act of the film because he realized the story was not working the way he intended, so that hiatus turned out to be ultimately beneficial to the final product. It's unclear exactly how much filming has been done on Mission: Impossible 7 thus far – Cruise was reportedly not in Italy yet for the shoot – so it remains to be seen if McQuarrie will be able to use this hiatus to his advantage in a similar way.

Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 are scheduled to be made back-to-back, with 7 hitting theaters on July 23, 2021 and 8 arriving on August 5, 2022.