Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the film Mission Impossible: 7, is suing its insurance company, accusing it of failing to cover the costs of a series of production shutdowns linked to Covid.
Production of the film, starring Tom Cruise as secret agent Ethan Hunt, has been halted seven times since filming began in Venice in February 2020, just as the pandemic was starting to accelerate in Europe. .
Filming was halted later that same month and could not restart as planned in Rome last March, after the Italian government introduced a nationwide lockdown to try to control the pandemic.
Production of the film has been halted four times in Italy and three times since filming was moved to the UK, between February 2020 and June 2021.
Some of the production shutdowns were caused by lockdowns in the countries the spy thriller was filmed in, while others – including the most recent in June in the UK – were the result of a cast member or the team tested positive for the coronavirus.
Paramount’s lawsuit in U.S. federal court in California alleges its insurance company failed to pay for all but one costly shutdown.
Paramount accused the Federal Insurance Company, based in the US state of Indiana, of breach of contract, and said the insurance company only agreed to pay $ 5 million (3.6 million pounds sterling) for the first break in production.
Paramount attorneys said the studio was covered for losses of more than $ 100 million resulting from delays and shutdowns.
A spokesperson for Chubb, the parent company of Federal Insurance, said: “Chubb is not commenting on outstanding legal issues. “
The impact of long and costly delays on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 was revealed last December, when an audio recording was released of Cruise launching a swear-laden rant against colleagues on set, at the following apparent violations of social distancing guidelines.
Cruise can be heard on the recording telling the team that any further violation would result in this person being ‘fired’ and that film industry workers were losing their jobs due to the Covid-related shutdowns.
Production of Mission: Impossible 7 has resumed and filming is currently taking place in Birmingham. The film is slated for release in May 2022.