Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Hollywood studios to cancel upcoming movie releases previously planned for Russia. According to EW, Disney led the way by pulling Turning Red, which is coming straight to Disney+ in the U.S. but had been set for a theatrical release there beginning March 10th. Warner Bros. decided not to release The Batman, which was scheduled to open this week. Sony’s Spider-Man spinoff Morbius also won’t open in Russia in April, and Paramount has confirmed that The Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 are in the same boat.
Disney’s statement reads: “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.”
Warner Bros. echoed the same mentality: “In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy,” as did Sony: “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. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly.”
Paramount, the last of these studios to announce a halt to its releases, did for the same reasons: “We stand by all those impacted by the humanitarian crisis across Ukraine, Russia, and our international markets and will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds.” Additionally, the Motion Picture Association issued a statement that expresses solidarity: “The MPA 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.”