Paramount Pictures has filed a US lawsuit claiming that a Mission: Impossible 7 insurance payout compensated for only a fraction of Covid-linked losses.
The studio said production was forced to stop seven times during the pandemic, for reasons including coronavirus cases among the crew and travel restrictions in the UK and Italy.
Paramount says the Federal Insurance Company paid out $5 million. However, the studio insists its incurred losses “far exceeded” that number. The Federal Insurance Company has yet to release a statement.
The production issues Mission: Impossible 7 faced during the pandemic have been emblematic of what the global film and TV industry as a whole has been enduring. After numerous delays, the Tom Cruise-starring action flick is now scheduled for a May 2022 release.
Paramount noted in the lawsuit that the film’s shoot was scheduled to begin in Venice in February 2020. However, production came to a halt when one of the people working on the film became sick with the virus. Filming then moved to Rome in March 2020, but was pushed back as Covid-19 restrictions were imposed in Italy.
A coronavirus outbreak among the crew in October 2020 yet again forced production to move back to Venice. Several crew members and extras tested positive.
The UK wing of production was forced to stop in February 2021 after a rise in Covid-19 cases. Filming then moved to the UAE, where a series of stringent measures ensured a Covid-free set throughout production. Filming in the UK was further delayed by government restrictions. In June, more members of the cast and crew tested positive while in the UK.
According to Paramount, Federal claimed that many of the losses incurred were not covered by the insurance and it would not compensate for production stopped by positive tests.
"Remarkably, Federal stated that there was no evidence that those cast and crew members could not continue their duties, despite being infected with Sars-Cov-2 and posing an undeniable risk to other individuals involved with the production," the Paramount lawsuit said.
The studio is now looking for a jury trial. It has not specified how much money it has lost owing to the shutdowns.