For months last year, Tom Cruise was filming Mission Impossible 7 around Europe, in the middle of a pandemic. The MI films are his babies (unlike his actual children, whom he mostly ignores) and he cared deeply about getting all of the pandemic protocols correct, like mask-wearing and social distancing. The MI shoot was pretty chaotic in Italy, and then in December, the production moved to England, where they shot interiors and tried to maintain pandemic protocols. Tried and failed – in December, someone leaked an audio of Cruise ranting at crew members for failing to social distance and that audio made news all over the place. Soon after, it seemed like some crew members quit, and now the production has moved to the Middle East, and cast and crew members are justifiably worried about the virus AND travel restrictions:
“Mission: Impossible” is coming close to living up to its name. Sources working on the seventh and latest installment of the “Mission: Impossible” movie franchise are complaining that star Tom Cruise is continuing to be a “nightmare,” the UK’s Sun reported on Saturday.
“A lot of us would love to cut our losses and leave things for a while, then pick up when we can,” one insider told the outlet. “But Tom is completely obsessed with finishing and nothing will stop him. He’s the most determined person. It’s impressive, but a nightmare.”
Cruise is not the only issue, the outlet reported after production moved out of the UK and on to the United Arab Emirates. Crew are worried when they’ll ever get to go home, given that direct flights between the Middle East and the UK are now being banned. Even after a return flight home, under current “red list” restrictions all travelers from the UAE to the UK will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.
“Now many of the production team, especially the more junior staff who aren’t on big salaries, are up in arms and just want to go home,” the Sun reported. The insider told the outlet, “this is starting to feel like a real nightmare of a production — and of course, a lot of that is totally unavoidable. But the hope was that after the pre-Christmas rows and delays, filming out in the UAE would give the crew more freedom to make headway without holdups. It feels like everything is against us at the moment and morale is really down,” the insider added.
On one side, I understand that Cruise and the studio want to get this done and wrapped, especially after pouring all of this money into all of the locations and coronavirus testing and all of that. But holy sh-t, this IS a nightmare. It’s one thing to want to get people back to work in a film industry which is deeply struggling. It’s quite another to run around Europe and the Middle East with a huge, unwieldy action-film production and force hundreds of crew members and cast members to put their lives at risk with the pandemic AND force them to be somewhat exiled in countries without the ability to go home any time soon. Most other Hollywood productions have been trying to limit far-flung location shoots and these huge crews during the pandemic. And there’s Cruise, forcing the production through Rome, Venice, London and the UAE all in a matter of three months? YIKES.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.