Back in December, the typically affable (when he’s not bouncing up and down on Oprah’s couch like a maniac) Tom Cruise made headlines after delivering a profanity-filled warning to his Mission: Impossible 7 cast and crew about the importance of following COVID-19 protocols to the letter because “We are not shutting this f*cking movie down!” Now, seven shutdowns later, Paramount, the studio behind the Mission: Impossible franchise has lost a lot of money on the film—which isn’t even scheduled to open until May 27, 2022. But as Variety reports, Chubb, the studio’s insurance company, is only willing to shell out $1 million to defray some of the money lost during these stoppages, forcing Paramount to file a lawsuit against their own insurer.
According to the suit, the studio’s insurer, Chubb, has said it will pay only $1 million for COVID-19 losses under its “civil authority” policy. Production was delayed seven times between February 2020 and June 2021, at least six of which were the result of the pandemic.
Paramount had a “cast insurance” policy for the production, with a $100 million coverage limit. Such insurance is intended to cover losses that result when a film’s key personnel — such as star Tom Cruise or director Christopher McQuarrie — is unavailable due to sickness, death or kidnapping.
Paramount maintains that the pandemic-related shutdowns should have triggered that provision of the policy, because the shutdowns were intended to protect the cast from getting sick.
But Chubb is standing firm that these shutdowns only fall under their “civil authority” policy, which covers all government-mandated work stoppages and carries a maximum benefit of $1 million, of which they’re willing to pay the full amount.
Paramount’s suit claims that the original shutdown was due to a key person becoming ill, though it doesn’t note who that person was or whether they were sick with COVID (and Paramount’s not talking, saying that people’s health information is protected information). Chubb paid another $5 million for that particular incident.
For all the details that Paramount’s lawsuit gives, it doesn’t specify how much the studio is looking for—only that it believes they’re entitled to a hell of a lot more than $1 million. And that the company “sold Paramount a Production Package Policy designed to insure Paramount against losses resulting from delays and interruptions of the production of the motion picture Mission Impossible 7. Recognizing the significant expenses (and concomitant risk) incurred in the production of major motion pictures, Federal agreed to and issued a policy that would pay up to a limit that exceeded $100,000,000 in connection with each single loss.”
You can read the full lawsuit here [PDF]. In the meantime, we’ll eagerly await Cruise’s rant thoughts.