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Mission: Impossible 7 was one of the first major films to freeze production when it was days away from beginning filming in Italy just as that nation became the first in Europe to be hit hard by COVID-19. Since then, the rest of the world has been equally hard hit by the virus and nearly every other film production is also in shutdown. However, there's a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for the next Mission: Impossible as the film now has its eye on a September date to restart the production that never got underway.
The word on the September restart comes from First Assistant Director Tommy Gormley who told the BBC (via Deadline) that the production hopes to be back in Venice in September. After that, there are several other countries on the itinerary as shooting locations, and at least as of now, the plan is to shoot in all the same places that were originally planned. Production is expected to last until early next year as both Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8 are being filmed back-to-back.
Originally, the plan for the two Mission: Impossible movies was for summer releases in 2021 and 2022, but the production delay has resulted in both movies being pushed back to November in their respective release years. Italy does seem, based on the numbers, to be on its way out of the outbreak insanity following being one of the hardest hit nations initially. At this point, September probably feels like a safe bet. It's far enough in the future that things should be in an even better place than they are right now.
It will be interesting to see if the Mission: Impossible films go through any changes due to the COVID-19 situation. The directions of the planned Dungeons & Dragons movie recently talked about considering changing scenes to remove sequences where large crowds of extras will be needed, and we could potentially see similar changes in other films, especially in the earliest days of productions starting up.
Of course, it's also far enough away that things could really go in any direction. We're seeing work begin to get back to something resembling normal in a lot of places and that includes film production. Avatar 2 is about to get back underway in New Zealand and, like many other industries, there is simply a general desire to get back to work that is pushing a general desire to get movies and television running again.
Currently theatrical releases are scheduled to start up again in July but for that to happen we'll need to see theaters open. While none of the major national chains have announced specific reopening dates it looks like they are all working toward July openings.