Tom Cruise will not shoot scenes with dozens of helicopters for the eighth part of “Mission: Impossible” in Svalbard. The actor’s request was rejected by the governor of the Norwegian province, reports The Times. The reason for the decision is to care for polar bears living in the archipelago.
Tom Cruise, through Svalbard-based production company PolarX, has applied for permission for 30 helicopter landings in the archipelago, the largest island of which is Spitzbergen. The governor of Svalbard, Lars Fause, expressed his opposition, prioritizing the welfare of the local polar bears, The Times reported.
Kristin Heggelund, responsible for environmental protection in Svalbard, commented on the matter in an interview with the British daily. “Everything we do in Svalbard must be done in a way that does not unnecessarily disturb people and animals,” she said. PolarX appealed the governor’s decision. Despite complications, the main cast members of the eighth part of “Mission: Impossible” were supposed to arrive in the archipelago on March 15 and stay there for three weeks.
Spring is the time when she bears come out of the caves with their cubs and they should not be disturbed. Tom Cruise’s former helicopter stunt pilot Marc Wolff told The Times that the Svalbard authorities’ disapproval was “something we have to take into account these days.”
Polar bears in danger of extinction
According to Dag Vongraven, head of the group studying polar bear populations, 300 polar bears currently live in Svalbard. He shared these statistics in 2021, talking about the declining population of these animals. Specialists of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) claim that in 50 years the Norwegian archipelago and the Arctic Russia there may be no more polar bears.
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