Warner Bros. Home Entertainment March 2 canceled a screening of the animated film Superman: Red Son slated for March 16 in New York over concerns regarding the spread of the COVID-19, aka coronavirus disease 2019.
Based on the DC Comics “Elseworlds” graphic novel from 2003, Red Son takes place in an alternate reality where the spaceship bearing the last survivor of Krypton crash lands in Stalinist Russia instead of rural Kansas, resulting in Superman becoming a hero of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The film features the voices of Jason Isaacs as Superman and Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor.
The film premiered in Los Angeles Feb. 24 and was released through digital retailers Feb. 25. Warner Feb. 28 announced the New York premiere would be held March 16, the day before Red Son’s March 17 release on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD.
The first case of COVID-19 in New York City was confirmed March 1.
As of March 2, there have been about 90,000 reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with more than 3,100 deaths from the illness — the vast majority occurring in China. Around 100 cases have been reported in the United States, with six deaths in Washington state.
“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,” the studio announced.
Warner had planned a red carpet event at New York’s Directors Guild with a screening and Q&A for members of the press, with a limited number of tickets available to the general public. The Guild theater has a capacity of 436.
Among those announced to be in attendance were executive producer Bruce Timm, director-producer Sam Liu, screenwriter J.M. DeMatteis, and castmembers Amy Acker (voice of Lois Lane), Vanessa Marshall (Wonder Woman), Roger Craig Smith (Batman) and Sasha Roiz (Hal Jordan).