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Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames in Mission: Impossible Fallout

The worldwide spread of coronavirus has started to affect the film industry in recent weeks. Following the cancellation of multiple major premieres in China, Universal pushing back No Time To Die last week, festivals such as SXSW being cancelled and general box office concerns, the filming of Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible 7 has also been affected by COVID-19 as well.

Ethan Hunt’s next mission was expected to kick off filming in Venice, Italy for three weeks as part of the first leg of an extensive shoot for Mission: Impossible 7. But considering there were 150 cases confirmed in the country, the shoot has since been delayed. When CinemaBlend spoke to Simon Pegg this morning, he offered these words about the delay:

We’ll get back to it when the time is right and everyone’s really excited. It’s a setback, but it’s a necessary one to make sure that everyone is safe and not contribute to the ongoing crisis. Whenever we’re back at it, I’m ready to go. It’s going to be fun.

The actor, who has played Benji Dunn since 2006’s Mission: Impossible III, told me he couldn’t comment on specifics because it's not his particular department, but Simon Pegg certainly felt the decision was an important one for the film to make considering the situation. The death toll in Italy went up to 463 on Monday and the country’s prime minister asked its citizens to stay home and seek permission for essential travel, per BBC. The number of confirmed infections has reportedly increased by 24% as well.

The halt in shooting for Mission: Impossible 7 came in conjunction with the local Venetian government’s call for public gatherings to be stalled. A spokesperson with Paramount previously said the production is being “mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts.” Paramount also said it will continue to monitor the situation and will be working alongside the Italian government officials.

Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby are all joining Simon Pegg in reprising their respective roles in the next Mission: Impossible movies, and the new additions include Nicholas Hoult, Shea Wingham, Hayley Atwell and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Pom Klementieff. Mission: Impossible is expected to be shot back-to-back with the 8th film. Mission: Impossible 7 is set for a July 2021 release date, and Mission: Impossible 8 will follow in August 2022.

Director Christopher McQuarrie has also helmed Rogue Nation and Fallout thus far and said he has three “obscene” stunts planned with Tom Cruise for Mission: Impossible 7. Only time will tell how the coronavirus will ultimately affect the production of the planned blockbuster. Following No Time To Die’s push to November, Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway was just moved to an August 7 release as well.

Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates on the coronavirus’ affect on the latest movies, as well as more news concerning the upcoming Mission: Impossible movies.

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