The latest adventure in espionage for Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt suffered a lengthy delay after production on Mission: Impossible 7 was shut down just as cameras were set to role in Europe, another setback for movie making in the age of coronavirus. But as filming gears up to restart, criticisms were levied at the production of Mission: Impossible 7 and a proposed stunt which would feature the destruction the Pilchowicki bridge, a bridge in Poland that's over 100 years old. Now director and writer Christopher McQuarrie issued an open letter that clarifies what he states is "inaccurate" about the explosion of what's being called a historic monument by some critics.
In the letter issued to Empire, McQuarrie sheds light on the situation and explained the circumstances surrounding the stunt's inception, as well as peeling back the curtain on some drama taking place behind the scenes.
"At the very start of the film’s pre-production, we had a rough concept for a sequence involving a bridge over a body of water, ideally one that could be (spoiler alert) partially destroyed," McQuarrie wrote. "While we doubted such a thing would be possible, a broad search was initiated in the unlikely event that any country anywhere in the world might have a bridge that needed getting rid of. Some lovely people from Poland responded with enthusiasm. They just happened to know of a non-functioning railroad bridge in an area that suited our purposes. And, better yet, the area in question was eager to promote tourism."
The filmmaker explained that portions of the bridge would be destroyed for Mission: Impossible 7's big set piece in cooperation with the Polish government, allowing them to rebuild the unsafe portions — not to mention the economic benefits of a large film production filming in the country.
McQuarrie then said an unnamed party possibly retaliated against the production for a perceived sleight, which exacerbated the situation with the Polish bridge.
"After harassing members of our production publicly and anonymously on social media, as well as privately, this individual misrepresented our intentions and concealed their personal reasons for wanting to penalize us," McQuarrie wrote. "They even tried to have this condemned, unsafe and unusable bridge landmarked in the hopes of preventing it from ever being removed and rebuilt (which we understand would be to the detriment of the area’s economic needs). Then they reached out to us to gloat about it. In short, this individual manipulated the emotional response of the people in a move that has now compromised our ambitions to bring our production to Poland."
McQuarrie makes it clear that they still hope to film the stunt in Poland, but that the situation could be in jeopardy based on the recent events. But according to some politicians in the country, the controversy doesn't merit the attention it's receiving.
"I would not be fixated on the fact that the Pilchowicki Bridge is a monument," said Deputy Culture Minister of Poland Pawel Lewandowski (via The Independent). "It stands in ruins and has no value. Not all old things are monuments."
Filming on Mission: Impossible 7 and 8 is expected to resume filming in the coming weeks.