Back in February, Mission: Impossible 7 became one of the first major blockbuster productions to screech to a halt as the pandemic took root. That it was at the forefront of the shutdown had everything to do with the film’s Italian production locations, and now, Simon Pegg (who portrays Benji Dunn in the Paramount films) is shining light on how the ridiculously successful Tom Cruise franchise will get off the ground (so its star can do wild stunts again). One particular? It’s not happening in Italy, which is still reeling.
Pegg spoke with Variety while detailing “the plan,” which involves relaunching production in the U.K., likely on the Paramount Pictures backlot (and with as much outside action as possible at the beginning). The Shaun Of The Dead star did have some humor about the situation. Fight scenes might happen “five feet apart,” he joked, so we’ll just have to imagine Mr. Cruise kicking at open air instead of throwing down in a bathroom alongside Henry Cavill’s controversial mustache. Also, the plan is to get rolling in September:
“That will begin with the outdoor stuff. That feels fairly doable, and obviously there will be precautions put in place…. People that are involved in any close proximity stuff, it will have to be determined that they’re safe to do that. I don’t know what the testing situation is, how that works, or whether they’ll be able to be tested regularly.”
In an unconfirmed aside, some U.K.-based outlets are reporting that Cruise would like to set up “a COVID-free village” at a Royal Air Force site, but we’ll see if that happens. Obviously and no matter where the filming location happens, one can easily imagine temperature checks, along with testing, rotating crews, and probably a pause in craft services as actors know it.
Pegg’s relaying of the above news arrives as Los Angeles productions start to eye a return to work as well. Michael Bay recently made headlines for wanting to shoot a pandemic thriller in LA, which would supposedly start filming less than a month from now. That seems too optimistic, but that project sounds like a found-footage-type project, so maybe it won’t involve many people on set at a time. Meanwhile, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently issued guidelines for the many TV and film productions that take advantage of the state’s tax incentives. We’ll probably hear more soon on how these shows and movies will plot their return voyages to set.