Warner Bros. announced this afternoon that they have cancelled the planned Net York City premiere of the upcoming DC Universe animated feature Superman: Red Son amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19, better known as the Coronavirus. The film, which centers on an alternate reality where Superman's rocket crash-landed in Soviet Russia rather than in Kansas, already had its world premiere in Los Angeles and is available digitlally for purchase. Ahead of the film's Blu-ray release later this month, Warner Bros. had planned a red carpet and premiere event in New York on March 16. The announcement was made via e-mail to members of the press this afternoon.
Part of the reason for the cancellation is that in addition to red carpet interviews (and the travel they require), these premieres often offer a limited number of seats to fans at a screening. That's something that is not exactly ideal, given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting that large-group gatherings be limted during an infectious disease outbreak.
"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," the statement reads. "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."
Numerous such events are being cancelled or delayed, especially given the amount of international travel that large conventions demand of guests and fans. Earlier today, Emerald City Comic Con announced that they are moving ahead as planned in spite of the COVID-19 concerns, but will be providing additional cleaning and sanitation staff to keep the premises as clean and sterilized as possible and were monitoring the situation for potential changes.
Jason Isaacs leads a stellar cast as the voice of the alternate, Soviet take on Superman. Isaacs, one of the stars of the Harry Potter film franchise, Star Trek: Discovery, and more than 100 other titles, gets his turn as a super hero after three appearances in DC Universe Movies as famous Super-Villains from the DC library. Isaacs previously voiced Sinestro in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Lex Luthor in Justice League: Gods and Monsters and Ra's al Ghul in Batman: Under the Red Hood.
Joining Isaacs is Diedrich Bader (American Housewife, Veep, The Drew Carey Show) as Lex Luthor, Amy Acker (Angel, Person of Interest, The Gifted) as Lois Lane, Vanessa Marshall (Young Justice, Star Wars Rebels) as Wonder Woman, Phil Morris (Seinfeld, Doom Patrol) as James Olsen, Academy Award winner Paul Williams (Goliath, Phantom of the Paradise) as Brainiac, Roger Craig Smith (Batman Ninja, Batman: Arkham Origins) as Batman, Sasha Roiz (Grimm) as Hal Jordan, Phil LaMarr (Futurama, Pulp Fiction, Justice League/Justice League Unlimited) as John Stewart, Jim Meskimen (Parks and Recreation, Impress Me) as John F. Kennedy, Travis Willingham (Critical Role, Batman: Bad Blood) as Superior Man, William Salyers (Regular Show, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders) as Joseph Stalin, and Winter Ave Zoli (Sons of Anarchy, Bosch) as Svetlana.
Superman: Red Son is produced and directed by Sam Liu (Reign of the Supermen) from a script by J.M. DeMatteis (Batman: Bad Blood, Constantine: City of Demons). Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) is co-producer. Amy McKenna (The Death of Superman) is producer. Executive Producers are Sam Register and Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series).
"Elseworlds tales from DC's vast library of stories have long electrified fans across the globe, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has now begun to mine these fascinating stories – first with last year's release of Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, and now with Superman: Red Son," said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Senior Vice President, Originals, Animation and Family. "Together with Bruce Timm's animated short, Phantom Stranger, this combination of unique storytelling promises to entertain in unexpected ways."