Filming on the latest Mission: Impossible film has been halted because of the esclating coronavirus outbreak in Italy.
The action movie, which stars Tom Cruise, was scheduled for a three-week shoot in Venice, but news of more than 200 people testing positive for the virus in Italy has brought production to a standstill.
Italy has recorded the largest number of confirmed cases of the disease outside Asia.
Paramount Pictures said on Tuesday (Australian time) it was following the advice of the Venetian government – which has banned large public gatherings as Italy tries to halt the coronavirus spread – and using an “abundance of caution” in stopping production.
“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 studio said.
It is understood Hollywood star Cruise, 57, was not in Italy for filming.
Elsewhere, the film industry faces the prospect of losing hundreds of millions of dollars as it moves to deal with the lethal coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Paramount has already postponed the Chinese release of its family adventure Sonic The Hedgehog while cinemas across the country – the world’s second largest box office market – have been closed.
“Sonic will only be slowing down his pace temporarily, and we look forward to bringing him zooming onto the big screen in China once it is appropriate to do so,” Paramount said.
The Chinese premiere for No Time To Die, the latest James Bond film, has also been cancelled.
And Disney faces a headache over its Mulan remake, which is set for release next month.
If cinemas in China are still closed, Mulan’s box office take could suffer a significant blow.