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  • Coronavirus pandemic

image sourceGetty Imagesimage captionTom Cruise stars in the Mission Impossible series of action films

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.

Federal parent company Chubb was approached for comment.

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.

Mr 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.

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image sourceMondadori Portfolioimage captionMission: Impossible 7 filming was halted seven times because of Covid, Paramount claimsProduction halts

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.

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, 2021 filming in the UK was halted after a surge in Covid cases in the country.

Production moved to Dubai, but plans to finish UK filming were delayed by UK government quarantine restrictions.

Then 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.

"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.