While the filming of Mission Impossible 7 should resume in September after a hiatus imposed by the health crisis, the production of the next installment of the adventures of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) faces a major obstacle. Director Christopher McQuarrie’s ambition is to destroy a 111-year-old bridge in the town of Pilchowice in Poland to stage an incredible stunt. Built in 1909, this 151-meter bridge built on two sandstone pillars is suspended 40 meters above Lake Pilchowice. Its destruction for the purposes of filming is controversial and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage does not know what to do because the inhabitants strongly oppose it.
According to The First News, the debate has been raging since December 2019 when Christopher McQuarrie posted a photo of the area near the bridge on Instagram. Some comments from Polish residents castigated the director and did not want to destroy this bridge, a sign of a cultural heritage. The Polish authorities are tearing their hair out because they want to encourage the film industry to shoot in the country, but they are also committed to protecting ancient architecture. The famous bridge, supporting a railway line, has been used by more than 70,000 tourists each year, but it has now been out of service since 2016 due to progressive deterioration.
Destroy to rebuild better?
The Deputy Minister of Culture, Paweł Lewandowski, has a completely different view of the matter. For him, the Pilchowice Bridge should not be considered a historical monument. He told Wirtualna Polska: “It is in ruins and has no value. Not all ancient things are necessarily monuments. The law clearly states that a historic monument is considered such if it has social, artistic or scientific value. ‘art and culture, this value only appears when there is a real relationship between the cultural object and the population. So if an object is unused and unavailable, it does not have this value. “.
Paweł Lewandowski also ensures that only a small part of the bridge will be destroyed during filming and that the country welcomes audiovisual productions and American producers with open arms. But the vice-minister of culture would still like the structure to be renovated and reused as a railway bridge and believes the bridge could have value as a tourist attraction and builds on the popularity of the Mission Impossible franchise. Above all, Paweł Lewandowski wants the Hollywood production, which follows the ecological trend and minimizes environmental damage, to provide funds for the reconstruction of the bridge.
It is rumored that Tom Cruise will actively participate in the promotion of Poland and that he is due in the country next September before a shoot in the region in April 2021. But the production plans of Mission Impossible 7 may be thwarted by the curator of monuments of Silesia who wishes to register the bridge as a historical monument. And the Ministry of Culture has no control over this kind of decision. In addition, the International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage wrote to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to request the preservation of the bridge. It remains to be seen whether the production of Mission Impossible 7, due in theaters for November 2021, will be successful.