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SYFY WIRE Mission: Impossible

WIRE Buzz: Mission: Impossible 7 halts filming; Sony Pictures is Home Before Dark; more

By Josh Weiss
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Coronavirus outbreaks in Italy have forced the seventh Mission: Impossible movie to halt active production in Venice, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed this afternoon. The film, helmed by writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, was just starting to ramp up principal photography.

Italy has recorded more than 150 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far, according to the New York Times.

"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," a spokesperson for Paramount Pictures told THR in a 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."

Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible - Fallout

The M:I franchise is known for its dangerous spy-fi adventures set all around the globe. McQuarrie, who wrote and directed the last two installments (Rogue Nation and Fallout), is locked in not only for the seventh film, but for the eighth, as well. Both are being filmed back-to-back.

Tom Cruise is returning to play steadfast IMF agent Ethan Hunt. He'll be joined by Rebecca Ferguson, Nicholas Hoult, Hayley Atwell, Shea Whigham, Pom Klementieff, Vanessa Kirby, Simon Pegg, and Henry Czerny.

Unless the coronavirus-related delay in shooting will cause the film to miss its theatrical opening, Mission: Impossible 7 is still slated to hit theaters July 31, 2021. The next sequel arrives in theaters Aug. 5, 2022.

Sony Pictures and 21 Laps (the production company run by Stranger Things' Shawn Levy) have acquired the screen rights to Riley Sager's upcoming thriller novel, Home Before Dark, reports Deadline.

The plot follows a woman who returns to a house her father made infamous in his bestselling horror memoir. Upon her return, she must answer the following questions: "Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound — and dangerous — secrets hidden within its walls?"

Home Before Dark cover

Home Before Dark goes on sale from Dutton Tuesday, June 30.

Global View Entertainment, a distribution company focused mainly on genre-based entertainment, has purchased the domestic rights to Followed, Deadline also writes.

The found-footage horror flick hails from writer Todd Klick and stars Matthew Solomon (Ballers) as a social media influencer known as “DropTheMike." When he's offered a hefty sum for sponsorship on his channel, Mr. "TheMike" and his video crew travel to one of the most haunted hotels in America. The setting is directly inspired by the Hotel Cecil in downtown Los Angeles, which also inspired American Horror Story: Hotel.

According to the synopsis: "What begins as a fun investigative challenge quickly descends into a personal hell of true evil, begging the timely question: how far would you go to pursue internet fame?"

Followed poster

Followed is utilizing the "Screenlife" method of filmmaking championed by Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov. Like Unfriended and Searching, the story will be told through the screen of a mobile device. However, Deadline says it's the first Screenlife project to be completely related through "YouTube-like vlogs."

“We couldn’t be more excited to be launching our new distribution shingle with the acquisition and release of Followed, a truly innovative take on the genre featuring a group of extremely talented young actors,” said Global View President Grant Cramer in a statement. “The film examines our current obsession with online fame and notoriety at any cost while devolving into bone-chilling tension and horror.”

Global View will begin introducing the movie (directed by Antoine Le) to theaters Friday, Apr. 10.