HOLLYWOOD—Leave it to Paramount Pictures to file a lawsuit. They claim that “Mission Impossible 7” insurance falls far short of COVID-related losses. According to Paramount Pictures,  it says that it stopped filming seven times during the pandemic, for reasons including the travel restrictions to the UK. It alleges the Federal Insurance Company paid out only $5 million, even though losses were many times that.

“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. According to published reports, one movie alone, 2018’s “Mission Impossible: Fallout,” took more than $791 million worldwide in the box office.

We all know that the film industry has been hit hard due to the pandemic. Budgets are very low these days. With many film theaters closed for a long period around the world, the industry will take a while to recover. Many major movies that were delayed by COVID in 2020 have finally been released in theaters this summer, but have not enticed the numbers they would have previously expected.

Continuing uncertainty , where the Delta variant has recently led to rising cases, has disrupted release schedule again. Yes, while half the Americans are vaccinated, it really means nothing. You can still be susceptible, to get COVID. The only thing is that it would be mild, compared to if you never had the shot. It’s clear that there is still some reluctance among certain audiences to return to the movie theater, especially among the demographics of the older audiences. The other reason, is a lot of the films have come on to a streaming platform. So you can watch it from the comfort of your home. Around the world, the biggest-budget releases have not reached the peaks they would have normally anticipated.

Films and TV production have been disrupted, causing expenditure to soar, with the cost of testing, consultants and protective equipment adding millions to the 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.

In its lawsuit, Paramount said that filming for “Mission Impossible 7” was due to start in Venice in February 2020, but that filming had to shut down after one of the people working on the film became ill with COVID-19. Filming was shifted to Rome in March, but that was then delayed by Italian COVID restrictions. In October 2020, there was a COVID outbreak among the crew in Rome, with production moving to Venice, but then crew and extras tested positive. In February 20212, filming in the UK was also halted after a surge in COVID cases rose in the country.  Production then moved to Dubai, but plans to finish in the UK filming were delayed by the UK government quarantine restrictions.

To add more icing to the cake, in June 2021, there were more positive tests of cast and crew in the UK. 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. According to Federal, it said, 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 in 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 $5 million Federal had agreed to pay for the first instance of the COVID-19 back 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.

Rose’s Scoop: The Venice Film Festival is in full swing from September 1- September 11, 2021.

Wishing everyone a very safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend!