Mission: Impossible Covid shutdowns prompt lawsuit

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The filming of Mission: Impossible 7 was stopped seven times during the pandemic. And now Paramount Pictures has filed a lawsuit claiming the insurance pay-out falls far short of Covid-related losses.

Paramount Pictures claimed that the Federal Insurance Company paid out only $5m (£3.6m), even though losses were many times that.

Tom Cruise starrer Mission: Impossible is a blockbuster franchise of the company.

This is the seventh sequence of the franchise and has made hundreds of millions of dollars for the film studio.

One movie alone, 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, took more than $791m worldwide in box office takings.

But due to the coronavirus outbreak, many sectors along with the film industry has been hit hard as many cinemas closed for long periods across the globe.

Because of this, film and TV productions have been disrupted which caused expenditure to soar.

Apart from that, the cost of testing, consultants and protective equipment added millions of dollars to budgets.

Mr Cruise, who is also a producer on the film, apparently threatened to fire the crew members after a breach on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 in England in December if they did not take Covid protocols seriously.

Production pauses

Paramount stated in its lawsuit that the movie’s filming was due to begin in Venice in February 2020 but was stopped after one of the people working on the set became covid positive.

Then the filming was shifted to Rome in March but got delayed by the Italian Covid restrictions.

Further in October 2020, the number of covid cases rose among the crew in Rome, with production moving to Venice, but then crew and extras tested positive.

In February 2021 filming in the UK was stopped after a surge in Covid cases in the country.

Production moved to Dubai but plans to finish UK filming were delayed by UK government quarantine restrictions.

Then in June 2021, more people from the cast and crew tested covid positive in the UK.  

Paramount claimed that Federal said many of its losses were not covered and that the insurer would not pay out for production halted by positive tests.

“Remarkably, Federal stated that there was no evidence that those cast and crew members could not continue their duties, despite being infected with Sars-Cov-2 and posing an undeniable risk to other individuals involved with the production,” the Paramount lawsuit said.

Paramount did not say how much the shutdowns had cost but said its losses “far exceeded” the $5m Federal had agreed to pay for the first instance of coronavirus in February 2020.

The film studio is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages. Now the delayed Mission: Impossible 7 is due to be released in May 2022.

 

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