Movies are in trouble, and Tom Cruise is determined to fix them. He's a producer on the upcoming seventh and eighth "Mission: Impossible" movies, which are currently filming back-to-back in Europe under strict safety protocols.
These movies were the first big production to crank back up in September after an industry-wide COVID-19 shutdown decimated spring and summer filming. The crew is filming at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, England.
Cruise recently exploded on the set after he caught crewmembers huddled around a computer monitor in violation of the movie's strict distancing protocols. U.K. tabloid The Sun somehow got an audio recording of his meltdown.
Let's just say that he was not cut out to be a drill sergeant. His righteous anger is certainly real, but a yelling Ethan Hunt just doesn't put the kind of fear into someone that R. Lee Ermey or Louis Gossett Jr. could generate with just a growled "hello."
Of course, you could counter and argue that, while he may not have the loud parts mastered, Cruise still has the soul of a true DI. He's determined to keep exact order in his unit and has zero patience for anyone who screws with his rules.
That anger is totally justified. Before Cruise and his fellow producers could restart production, they had to convince the studio and insurance companies that they had a plan to keep the set free of virus infestations and shutdowns.
Once "Mission: Impossible" started back up, other studios began filming, again using many of the same protocols that Cruise and company developed for their movie. That puts Tom in the position of industry leader and makes him the guy who's supposed to be setting the example.
Here's a video from The Sun that includes the audio recording of Tom's rant. The proficiently profane will note that Tom's use of various F-bombs doesn't have the desired effect. Any good DI will tell you that profanity has to sound as natural as breathing to truly shock recruits.
Of course, Tom's right. Thousands of jobs depend on studios finding an effective way to keep the coronavirus off sets and filming going until the world is vaccinated. It's working so far, even though returning television shows this fall all look a little weird because you never see two people in the same shot when actors are in a small room.
Would a "Mission: Impossible" virus shutdown actually lead to an industry meltdown? Probably not, but Cruise is taking his leadership role seriously and displaying the same demanding attention to detail that has made the recent "Mission: Impossible" movies so good. That will hopefully be the case when we finally get to see "Top Gun: Maverick" sometime in 2021.
In the interim, maybe Tom could serve his country as sort of a COVID Safety Czar once they wrap filming on "Mission: Impossible" early next year. He knows how to keep the workplace free of disease, he's got no patience for sloppiness, and he's famous enough that at least some of the doubters might pay attention.
"Mission: Impossible 7" is scheduled for a theatrical release on Nov. 21, 2021. Let's hope things get back to normal and we get to see the movie as Tom intended, just four months after we see "Top Gun: Maverick."
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