Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise has proven himself to be a man without fear in recent years, doing his own stunts for the Mission Impossible movies that involved him hanging from the side of planes, cliffs and the world’s tallest building.
We can now add something else to the list of things Cruise is not afraid of: cruise ships.
The actor and his production company have chartered two ships from Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten for a month to house the entire cast and crew of the seventh Mission Impossible movie during filming in Norway.
Cruise himself is footing US$700,000 (NZ$1 million) of the bill, according to Forbes.
Without going into detail, Hurtigruten confirmed to Traveller that the ships had been leased by a film production company.
“We can confirm that Hurtigruten has entered into an agreement with the production company Truenorth for the charter of two ships from the end of August until the end of September. The ships in question are (newly upgraded) MS Vesterålen and (the brand new battery-hybrid powered) MS Fridtjof Nansen,” said Øystein Knoph, Hurtigruten’s press officer.
Production halted shortly after the outbreak of Covid-19, just as filming was about to begin in Italy. It resumed briefly in London and has now moved to Norway’s Møre og Romsdal region. The sparsely populated area is known for its fjords, with spectacular scenery including dramatic cliffs and waterfalls.
The idea is that the cast and crew will be in their own self-contained hub on board the ships, something similar to that applied by the AFL to allow games to continue interstate, to reduce the risk of anyone catching the coronavirus.
Norway reportedly tested all cast and crew for Covid-19 upon arrival, while also waiving the country’s 10-day quarantine for crew members from countries with high infection rates.
Between them, the two ships leased for the Cruise cruise can accommodate more than 1000 passengers. The Fridtjof Nansen launched in March this year, just as the company suspended operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
It is the world’s second hybrid cruise ship, after its sister ship the MS Roald Amundsen, running on a combination of diesel and lithium batteries, which the company claims will cut carbon emissions by 20 per cent.
Hurtigruten became one of the world’s first cruise lines to resume sailing in July but suspended operations after a Covid-19 outbreak on board the MS Roald Amundsen. While many of its cruises remain cancelled, it will resume some cruises of the Norwegian coast this week.
The seventh Mission Impossible film is scheduled for release on November 19 this year. The film series has amassed more than US$3.5 billion at the box office.
The last instalment, Mission Impossible: Fallout, was also filmed in Norway with the climax taking place on the spectacular Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) cliff. It was not without controversy, as the film’s story put the location as Kashmir, India, much to the chagrin of some Norwegians.