But it was the major lifestyle changes of its producer and frontman Tom Cruise that raised eyebrows the most.
The prolific filmmaker – who claims more than £ 10 billion in box office receipts – has become unusually reclusive. And most surprisingly of all, he seemed to be moving away from the Church of Scientology.
The controversial religion, founded by American science fiction author L Ron Hubbard, has been a mainstay of his visits to the UK for decades.
On his previous trips, Tom was a regular at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, his UK headquarters.
The star was heavily involved in a costly renovation of the site in 2015, and is said to have stayed there during filming and working here – flying back and forth to London and elsewhere from the 18th-century stack in his private helicopter.
But this time, things seem to be different. Instead of relying on ownership, Tom, 59, has not been seen in the area at all.
He’s completely out of the radar – first in an elegant apartment in Knightsbridge where he was able to sneak in through an underground car park, and more recently in a secluded house in the Kent countryside near Biggin Airport. Hill, near his private jet.
He is not believed to have visited the Saint Hill Mansion once – and film sources suspect his shift in perspective could be linked to a loss of love for Scientology amid the Covid pandemic.
In public, the church says it has no official position on vaccinations, but it is understood that many in the group are reluctant to take vaccines and avoid conventional medical treatments.
In a section titled How to Prevent the Spread of Disease With Isolation, its official website tells its subscribers, “An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure,” but does not specifically refer to vaccines at all.
And a senior source explained, “Tom seems extremely withdrawn at the moment – he’s really keeping to himself, but something seems to have changed. He’s obviously under a lot of pressure with this movie and the studio is now looking into the matter because things are so overdue and seemingly out of budget.
“It’s really nobody’s fault and Tom has a long history of making amazing movies that more than justifies the big costs, but there’s no doubt that things are weighing on his shoulders right now. “
The Sun had previously revealed the extent of Tom’s anxiety when a leaked tape recording on the set of staff members berating the superstar emerged. This has earned him praise from many for his insistence on following Covid protocols to avoid further delays. But the insider added, “What’s really surprising this time around is what he’s doing off the set.
“He’s usually often at the Scientology mansion, which seems to be the way he likes to relax, and then also in London. It’s quite surprising that he hasn’t been to football while he’s here, as he usually enjoys getting involved in big events when he’s in town.
“He’s got the helicopter so he can go anywhere really fast, but he hasn’t been to East Grinstead at all. A number of us wonder if the Covid situation and his religious beliefs are pulling him in different directions with so much pressure to complete this movie. “
The superstar has been an active member of the church since 1990 – after being introduced by his first wife Mimi Rogers. Since then, he has often spoken in favor of the organization. David Miscavige, the oldest figure in the church, witnessed her marriage in 2006 to Katie Holmes, 42, though the marriage later fell apart with the actress saying she wanted to protect their daughter, Suri, now 15, from Scientology.
Tom continues to work on the new Mission Impossible movie despite the departure of several team members following his furious tirade about a violation of social distancing and mask-wearing protocol – following two previous long delays.
The Sun revealed in December how, after spotting two members of the team standing within two meters of each other on the Leavesden, Herts plateau, Tom raged: “I’m beyond your apologies. We’re not closing this fucking movie. Is this understood? “If I see him again, you’re gone. And you too. So you’re going to cost him his job.
“Do you understand the responsibility you have? Because I’ll take care of your sanity, and if you can’t be reasonable, and I can’t handle your logic, you’re fired. That’s it. “
“There was a lot at stake at that time”
Tom, who plays spy Ethan Hunt in the blockbuster franchise, then stood up to his outburst, telling Empire movie magazine, “I said what I said. He added: “There was a lot at stake at the time. All of these emotions ran through my mind.
“I was thinking about the people I work with and my industry. And for the whole crew to know that we had started shooting a movie, it was just a huge relief.
But despite the end of production – under increasing time and financial constraints – major behind-the-scenes feuds continue to spark disputes.
A key planned scene involving a train crashing into a quarry ledge, which had cost huge sums to build, is now seen as ax-facing – angering the star, who saw the pivotal moment as a master piece.
There is also growing anger among residents near the Darlton Quarry in Derbyshire over the road closures and repeated disturbances around the defined site.
And just a few weeks ago, all production was halted for several weeks, which sparked speculation among team members as to whether Tom himself could have tested positive for Covid.
As one said, “If it was someone else, we would have continued. We cannot afford another heist. Despite the issues, it is understood that Tom had an increasingly close relationship with British co-star Hayley Atwell, 39, after he hit it off on set.
Tom, who also has two adopted children with his second wife Nicole Kidman, has been single since his split from Katie in 2012 – although he has been briefly linked to actresses Elisabeth Moss and Laura Prepon.
Superb Captain America star Hayley had previously dated model Evan Jones and was in a relationship with a British doctor until early last year. A spokesperson for the actress declined to comment on her closeness to Cruise, while a representative for the actor did not respond.
THE ROOTS OF SECT SCI-FI
Three years earlier, he had written a self-help book Dianetics, which explored the connections between mind and body. Hubbard was the head of the church until his death at the age of 74 in 1986 when David Miscavige, 61, took over.
Scientology followers believe that people are “immortal alien beings” called thetans who are trapped on Earth in their human form.
They believe that each thetan has lived a number of lifetimes, prior to this one, both on Earth and on other planets.
Through the practice of Scientology, readings and courses known as auditing, members believe they can “break free from their human form and reclaim their true selves.”