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Coronavirus halts Italy filming of Tom Cruise blockbuster Mission Impossible VII

m Cruise, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Vanessa Kirby, Alix Benezech, Caspar Phillipson, producer Jake Myers pose in front the Eiffel Tower during the premiere of the film "Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
m Cruise, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Vanessa Kirby, Alix Benezech, Caspar Phillipson, producer Jake Myers pose in front the Eiffel Tower during the premiere of the film "Mission: Impossible - Fallout. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Production of the latest film in the "Mission: Impossible" series starring Tom Cruise has been stopped in Italy following the coronavirus outbreak, Paramount Pictures said Monday.

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The seventh installment of the franchise was scheduled to shoot in Venice for three weeks, the first location for production.

"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," a Paramount spokesperson said told the French news agency AFP.

The spokesperson added that crew members were allowed to return home until production resumed.

Italy reported its seventh death from the new coronavirus on Monday, but officials called for calm and reported a lower rise in the number of infections after a spike over the weekend.

The number of cases in the country now stood at 229, the head of Italy's civil protection department Angelo Borelli said at a press conference Monday evening, the highest number in Europe.

In addition to the "Mission: Impossible VII" production, the spread of the virus has disrupted high-profile events including Milan Fashion Week and the Venice Carnival. On Monday evening, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced that six Serie A football matches would be played behind closed doors.

"Mission: Impossible VII" is due in theaters on July 23, 2021.

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