In an effort to continue filming the latest installment of his long-running Mission Impossible franchise in Norway while respecting the country's COVID-19 related orders, actor Tom Cruise has reportedly rented an entire Norwegian cruise liner until the end of September. Local media outlet Norway Today reports that the actor paid £500,000 (that's $666,568 in US dollars) for two Hurtigruten ships.
According to Variety, "the purpose of the ships appears to be to house crew." The councilor of Stranda municipality confirmed to Norway Today that one of the ships, named MS Fridtjof Nansen, is currently docked at Hellesylt and will be used as a hotel during filming.
But that's not all: last week, the Norwegian government announced that it will exempt the crew from quarantine requirements to speed up the production of the film and meet its pre-established November 2021 release date—a decision that hasn't sat well with local unions Fellesforbundet and Sjømannsforbundet, which have supposedly reported the cruise line to the police in connection to the Immigration Act.
Newsweek reports that the accusations involve supposed low minimum wages for the Filipino workers on board of the ship.
"It is completely unsustainable that it should be possible to only dock a boat with a wage level down to NOK 29 [£2.45, $3.30 US] per house," said union leader Johnny Hansen to the Norwegian Seamen's Association.
Fellesforbund union leader Jørn Eggum echoed those sentiments while talking to local tabloid newspaper Verdens Gang: "It is not okay to use a ship that is to go in international shipping as a hotel in Stryn, close your eyes, and hope no one will find out that the employees are not close to the pay and working conditions that are statutory," he said.
This isn't the only drama that Cruise has had to face while filming Impossible 7 (first in Italy, then in the U.K. and now in Norway). In fact, the actor has been dealing with rumors about his supposed request to blow up Pilichowice, a 114-year-old bridge in Poland, to film the Polish portion of the film.
Turns out that, no matter the crew's requests or intentions, the bridge is protected by a 2017 amendment that will render it immune from man-led destruction. "Concerns of demolition are pointless," tweeted Polish General Conserver of Monument Magdalena Gawin.
The film production as a whole has clearly become a nearly impossible mission to bring to completion.