The Batman and Morbius Pulled From Release in Russia Over Ukraine Invasion

Warner Bros. and Sony are following the footsteps of Disney, who has earlier announced its decision to pause the releases of its upcoming movies in the Vladimir Putin-led country.

AceShowbiz -“The Batman” won’t be coming to Russia in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Warner Bros. has pulled the highly-anticipated superhero movie from its Russian release just days before it’s scheduled to open in the country on March 3 as part of the film’s global rollout.

“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia,” a WarnerMedia spokesperson said in a statement on Monday, February 28. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”

The decision arrives just hours after it’s reported that “The Batman” was still scheduled to open in Russia on March 3. According to The Hollywood Reporter, many studio executives were still figuring out the right thing to do amid the situation that has gained mounting criticism against Russia as the country has become one of the top global box office markets.

But in the end, WB wasn’t the only one which has come to the decision to pull its movie from release in Russia. Sony has followed suit by pausing the release of its own potential tentpole, “Morbius“, which was due out March 24 in the country.

“Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the resulting uncertainty and humanitarian crisis unfolding in that region, we will be pausing our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of ‘Morbius’,” a Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly.”

Disney was the first studio to take action in the wake of the “tragic humanitarian crisis.” A Walt Disney Co. spokesperson said in a statement, “Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming ‘Turning Red‘ from Pixar. We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.”

Later, the Motion Picture Association, the major lobbying arm for the major studios and Netflix, issued a comment on the invasion. “The Motion Picture Association stands with the international community in upholding the rule of law and condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On behalf of our member companies, who lead the film, TV and streaming industry, we express our strongest support for Ukraine’s vibrant creative community who, like all people, deserve to live and work peacefully,” the MPA statement said. “We will continue to monitor the situation, working closely with our members and partners throughout the global creative sector.”

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