Norway is the latest stop for Tom Cruise’s peripatetic “Mission: Impossible” franchise, with the production hiring two ships from Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten, according to local media reports.
Hurtigruten has confirmed to Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang that they have rented out two of their ships, MS Vesterålen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, for a month, beginning at the end of August until the end of September, to local production services company Truenorth Norway.
The purpose of the ships appear to be to house crew, for which Cruise has reportedly paid £500,000 ($666,568), according to Sky News.
At least one of the ships, the MS Fridtjof Nansen, is docked at Hellesylt and will serve as a hotel-ship during filming, as confirmed by the Counsilor of Stranda municipality to Norway Today.
The Norwegian government has exempted the crew from quarantine requirements, it was announced last week. The Norwegian Film Institute has invested NOK50 million ($5.69 million) in the production.
However, two Norwegian unions, Fellesforbundet and Sjømannsforbundet, have reported Hurtigruten to the police for violating the Immigration Act, over allegations of low minimum wages for the Filipino workers on board, according to Newsweek.
“It is completely unsustainable that it should be possible to only dock a boat with a wage level down to NOK 29 [$3.30] per hour,” union leader Johnny Hansen told the Norwegian Seamen’s Association.
“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,” Fellesforbund leader Jørn Eggum told Verdens Gang.
The seventh instalment of the franchise filmed in Italy until paused by the pandemic, moved to the U.K. briefly and is now in Norway. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, it is due a November 2021 release.
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