Courtesy : Digital Spy
The many COVID-19 shutdowns that has became an unfortunate constant with the seventh instalment of Mission: Impossible has now led to a new chapter, we can say. According to BBC News, Paramount Pictures has filed a US lawsuit claiming that a Mission: Impossible 7 insurance payout falls far short of Covid-related losses.
Paramount said that it had stopped filming seven times during the pandemic, for reasons including UK government travel restrictions. It alleges the Federal Insurance Company paid out only $5m (£3.6m), even though losses were many times that. Paramount's main claim is how the insurer has refused to cover majority of the losses due to the pandemic-related shutdowns.
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.
Mission: Impossible, which stars Tom Cruise, is a blockbuster franchise for Paramount. The series of action movies has made hundreds of millions of dollars for the film studio. One movie alone, 2018's Mission: Impossible - Fallout, took more than $791m worldwide in box office takings.
But along with many other sectors, the film industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, with many cinemas closed for long periods around the world.
Film and TV productions have been disrupted, causing expenditure to soar, with the cost of testing, consultants and protective equipment adding millions of dollars to budgets.
Cruise, who is also a producer on the film, apparently threatened to fire crew members after a breach on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 in England in December if they did not take Covid protocols seriously.
Paramount claimed that Federal said many of its losses were not covered and that the insurer would not pay out for production halted 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.
Paramount did not say how much the shutdowns had cost, but said its losses "far exceeded" the $5m 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.