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Coronavirus outbreak halts Mission: Impossible 7 production in Italy

Even Tom Cruise can't helicopter his way out of this one.

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Tom Cruise plays secret agent Ethan Hunt.

Paramount Pictures
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The pneumonia-like disease known as the COVID-19, first detected in China in December last year, has hit Italy in a major way. The outbreak has put parts of the country into lockdown, with over 200 confirmed cases and seven deaths. In the wake of this, shooting for the seventh Mission Impossible film starring Tom Cruise and scheduled for a July release next year has been halted, Deadline reported Monday.

The crew was reportedly set to start filming in Venice for three weeks before concern from the city's government forced a change of plans.

"Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three week shoot in Venice, the scheduled first leg of an extensive production for Mission: Impossible 7," reads Paramount's statement.

"During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves," the statement reads.

Over the weekend, the World Health Organization reported 67 new cases in Italy, and the confirmed cases have now risen over 200 with seven deaths. WHO declared a public health emergency on Jan. 30, but despite the recent spikes of cases, it doesn't yet consider the disease to be a pandemic.

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