MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7 May Scrap Italy Shoot Entirely; Tom Cruise Hoping To Resume Production In June

While this may be a tad optimistic, it appears as though M:I 7 could start rolling cameras again by June, but that's completely dependent on whether the coronavirus pandemic is under control by then...

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Paramount's Mission: Impossible 7 was the first of many high profile films to halt production earlier this year, opting to shut down its Italy shoot in late February due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and according to a new report, it may also be one of the first major titles to resume filming this summer when cast and crew are able to safely return to work. 

Variety has learned that principal photography on the highly anticipated Tom Cruise-starrer is expected to resume as early as June, but that's highly dependent on whether or not the spread of the pandemic is under control by then. However, before any cameras can roll, Paramount - along with every other major studio - will also have to deal with a number of major legal concerns as well as the seemingly infinite uncertainty on when sufficient medical testing will be made available.

Basically, until testing is available on a much larger scale and COVID-19 standards are established across the industry, no film or television production can resume shooting. But based on this potential June restart date for Mission: Impossible 7, it seems as though executives may be feeling optimistic that standards will be set within the next few weeks, although that's always subject to change. 

Contagion director Steven Soderbergh has been tasked with leading a task force to determine when work can safely resume and he's been in constant contact with leading epidemiologists and guilds to help figure out the industry's next steps. Among the ideas being considered are a push to take crew members' temperatures before they enter a studio lot, possibly testing employees to see if they have antibodies that would indicate they have some immunity to the virus, and/or maybe instituting waves of testing for cast and crew to see if anyone has been infected. They're also considering mandating that all employees stay in hotels or assigned housing and isolate themselves from friends and family for the entire duration of a shoot. 

The team behind Mission: Impossible 7 is also currently in the process of determining whether or not they should completely scrap the Italian portion of their shoot or push it back until a later date when the virus may have potentially subsided, but moving it back seems like a longshot at best as that would almost definitely result in the film postponing its release date, which is probably an inevitably at this point since its already two months behind schedule.

There's also a growing concern that the coronavirus pandemic may follow a similar trajectory to the 1918 flu pandemic, which resulted in 50 million deaths worldwide, if safety restrictions are lifted too soon. Some public health experts have already forewarned that COVID-19 could slow down considerably over the summer and then return with full force in the fall and winter, causing even more damage across the globe.

Mission: Impossible 7 & 8 are headlined by Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) as IMF ace Ethan Hunt, as well as fellow returning stars Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible - Fallout), who is set to reprise her role as Ilsa Faust, and Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible - Fallout), who reprises his role as Benji Dunn. Newcomers to the storied action franchise include Hayley Atwell (Avengers: Endgame), Pom Klementieff (Avengers: Endgame), Shea Whigham (Joker) and Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Dark Phoenix). Henry Czerny (Sharp Objects) has also been confirmed to reprise his role as Eugene Kittridge from the first film.

No word yet on who will actually make up Ethan Hunt's team for his seventh and eighth adventures, but it seems likely that a combination of Ving Rhames (Luther Stickell), Jeremy Renner (William Brandt), Angela Bassett (Erica Sloane), Vanessa Kirby (White Widow), Paula Patton (Jane Carter) and/or Maggie Q (Zhen Lei) will also be back in some capacity.

Both sequels are expected to film back-to-back, with Mission: Impossible 7 set to light the fuse in theaters on July 23, 2021, while its sequel, Mission: Impossible 8, will open the following summer on August 5, 2022. 

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