Tom Cruise failed to convince the “polar bear capital of the world” to allow him to land helicopters for the filming of Mission Impossible.
Authorities in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard have told the 60-year-old Hollywood star she cannot land helicopters on the Arctic archipelago because it would disturb local wildlife.
PolarX, the local production company, had asked permission for 30 landings during the filming of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two.
But the governor, Lars Fause, rejected them, prioritizing the needs of the polar bear population in the area 600 miles from the North Pole.
Kristin Heggelund, who heads the local environment department, said it aims to “preserve a virtually pristine environment on Svalbard.”
He added: “All passages on Svalbard must take place in a way that does not cause unnecessary disturbance to people or animals.”
And Anette Trettebergstuen, Norwegian culture minister, has blocked the subsidies production companies normally receive for filming in Norway.
The area prides itself on its untouched nature where 2,500 people live mainly in the capital, Longyearbyen.
They are outnumbered by an estimated 3,000 polar bears.
Carrying a firearm when leaving settlements, as a means of scaring away bears, has been mandatory since 2012.
Time is of the essence for Paramount with the film due out this year.
Svalbard as a filming location allows the crews near-constant light.
The region has been the scene of other major Hollywood productions, including the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day.
Marc Wolff, a helicopter stunt pilot who has worked with Cruise and on Svalbard, said the actor — who does his own stunts — prefers helicopters to snowmobiles.
“But it’s something we have to take into consideration in this day and age, noise and disturbance to wildlife in terms of helicopters,” he told the Times.
“It is the polar bear capital of the world. Sometimes there is a certain breeding that happens at times of the year they don’t want to disturb. It’s spring now, so they’re just coming out of hibernation.
PolarX, which was previously allowed to land helicopters in the region, has appealed the decision. The company declined to comment.