The coronavirus’ effects are quickly being felt within the entertainment industry, whether through box office damage or indirectly boosting Netflix’s audiences. COVID-19 is even beginning to affect the writing process for upcoming shows like The Falcon and the Winter Solder. The latest consequence of the virus is the New York City premiere of DC’s animated Superman: Red Son movie, with Warner Bros. deciding to cancel the public launch of the picture.
Although Red Son is available to purchase digitally, and had its world premiere in LA, WB had been planning to promote the Blu-ray release with a red carpet event in New York on March 16th. Particular fears arose over red carpet crowds and limited seating worsening the risk of large groups of people being in close proximity to one another. In this sense, it’s likely that the Red Son cancellation will be one of many as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Warner Bros. had this to say about why they cancelled the premiere:
“As the impact and spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Warner Bros. is placing added emphasis on the health and welfare of its employees, talent and fans. To help minimize risk of exposure, Warner Bros. has opted to take preventative measures and cancel the New York premiere of Superman: Red Son on March 16, 2020. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused, and we look forward to seeing you at future events.”
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For those not aware of it, Superman: Red Son is one of the best of DC’s Elseworlds stories, wherein Kal-El’s ship crash lands in the Ukraine rather than Kansas and he goes on to become the figurehead of Soviet Russia. Written by Mark Millar, the 2003 comics miniseries is one of the most distinctive takes on the Superman legend to date. The animated movie has been on the cards for some time and has been joined by regular rumors that WB are keen to also produce a live-action version of the story.
Given what we’ve recently heard about plans for a Batman: Gotham by Gaslight standalone picture, a similar take on Superman: Red Son fits into Warner Bros.’ reported plans to produce more alternate universe stories in the wake of Joker. That WB were planning such a lavish opening for a non-theatrical animated movie also shows their confidence in the material. Unfortunately, it seems that cancelling public events will become a standard tactic for studios in the next few months, which will surely have a long-term effect on the industry.