Paramount confirmed Monday that an upcoming three-week shoot in Venice for Mission: Impossible 7 has been put on hold in conjunction with the Venetian government imposing a halt to public gatherings following a staggering spike in confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy over the last three days.
On Friday morning, there were only three confirmed cases in Italy, but according to Business Insider, that number soared to 215 by Monday. Six people have since died. While Paramount cites the local government's newly-imposed ban as a reason behind their change in production plans in their statement, the studio mentions that this decision was reached out of an "abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew."
"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 statement reads. "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."
The threat of coronavirus hasn't only impacted film productions, Paramount also suspended the theatrical release of Sonic the Hedgehog in China, and pointed to the virus as the culprit. "Due to the current coronavirus situation, the China release date of the film Sonic the Hedgehog will be postponed, and we will re-announce the new release date at a later time, Paramount said in a statement. "Sonic will only be slowing down his pace temporarily, and we look forward to bringing him zooming onto the big screen in China once it is appropriate to do so."
Mission: Impossible 7 is expected to be released on July 23, 2021.