Paramount Pictures has reached a tentative settlement in its lawsuit with Federal Insurance Company over claims arising from repeated Covid-19 production delays on Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One.
According to The Wrap, the framework for the settlement was agreed upon this past Wednesday, just ahead of a mediation deadline. The settlement is expected to be finalized by August 5, and the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. In August 2021, Paramount filed a lawsuit claiming that Federal Insurance owed the studio the full $100 million policy after production on the seventh Mission: Impossible film paused in February 2020 due to a positive Covid-19 test by an unidentified crew member.
Federal Insurance only agreed to pay $5 million for the production delay, which lasted five months, arguing that there was no evidence that the infected production members “could not continue their duties,” even though they could have spread the virus to the rest of the cast and crew. “Remarkably, Federal stated that there was no evidence that 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,” reads the complaint, as shared by The Hollywood Reporter.
Productions obtain cast insurance due to the risk of incurring massive costs if the director or one of the film’s stars becomes ill or dies during production. Paramount took the position that the cast insurance policy should have been triggered, since the shutdowns were intended to keep the principals from getting sick. In a motion responding to Paramount’s claims, the Federal said that the “policy speaks for itself” and argued that the productions were shut down due to government orders, triggering the civil authority provision, which is typically meant to cover events like riots or hurricanes. The settlement was reached ahead of a mediation deadline.
Mission: Impossible 7 is now set for release on July 14, 2023, two years behind its original schedule. Production began in February 2020, just as the pandemic began to spread around the globe. Ultimately, production had to be halted seven times.