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Mission: Impossible sues insurance company over 7 COVID-19 shutdowns

The lawsuit accuses the insurance company of failing to pay out for all but one of the costly stoppages.

Mission: Impossible sues insurance company over 7 COVID-19 shutdowns

FILE PHOTO: Actors Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell are seen on the set of "Mission Impossible 7" while filming in Rome, Italy October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Production on the new Mission: Impossible movie was shut down seven times due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday (Aug 30) that accuses the film's insurance company of failing to pay out for all but one of the costly stoppages.

Filming on the action series starring Tom Cruise was delayed four times in Italy, and three times in the United Kingdom between February 2020 and June 2021, said the lawsuit filed by Paramount Pictures in US federal court in California.

The stoppages were caused by positive COVID-19 tests among members of the cast or crew, or quarantine or lockdowns imposed in countries where the thriller was being filmed.

The lawsuit accuses Indiana-based Federal Insurance Company of breach of contract, saying it has agreed only to pay out US$5 million for the first stoppage.

Federal Insurance did not immediately return a request for comment.

Cruise, who is also a producer on the film, lost his temper on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 in England in December over a breach in COVID-19 protocols, threatening to fire cast and crew members who did not take them seriously.

Mission: Impossible is one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, with 2018's Mission: Impossible - Fallout taking more than US$791 million at the worldwide box office.

Multiple film and television productions have been disrupted by the pandemic and the cost of testing, consultants and protective equipment has added millions of dollars to their budgets.

Paramount said in the lawsuit that the insurance company argued 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".

Paramount did not say how much the shutdowns had cost but said its losses "far exceeded" the US$5 million that Federal had agreed to pay for the first instance of coronavirus in February 2020.

Paramount is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

The delayed Mission: Impossible 7 is due to be released in May 2022.

Source: Reuters/sr

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