As most of you likely already know, England was rocked by tragedy earlier this week when a bombing at an Ariana Grande show in Manchester claimed the lives of more than 20 concert attendees. The incident has put the entire country on edge and caused some studios to reconsider their plans for upcoming promotional events in the area. In the face of such a tragedy, it now seems that Warner Bros. has officially opted to play it safe and cancel the London premiere of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman ahead of its June 2 theatrical debut, and Universal has followed suit by cancelling the premiere of The Mummy, as well.
Variety confirms that Warner Bros. has cancelled the Wonder Woman premiere in London following the deadly bombing in Manchester earlier this week. It is not hard to understand why the studio would make such a decision. The United Kingdom finds itself in a state of heightened security after the attack left 22 dead (with quite a few more wounded), and Prime Minister Theresa May has officially raised the country's terror threat level from "severe" to "critical." A major film premiere brings people from all over the world together in a single location, and the safety concerns raised by such an event in the heart of London clearly outweigh the benefits and opportunities for good press.
Ultimately, this seems more like a minor setback for the film than a major blow, as Wonder Woman will still proceed with its Los Angeles premiere later today. The film has garnered strong early buzz from pre-screenings, and it will likely perform well with or without a London premiere. All things considered, playing it safe seems like the smarter call for Warner Bros. and the people of London. Warner Bros. isn't alone in this decision, as The Wrap reports that Universal has also axed the London premiere of Alex Kurtzman's The Mummy over similar safety concerns as well.
In response to the tragedy, and to make the rationale for its decision understood, Warner Bros. issued a statement about the cancellation of the Wonder Woman premiere, saying:
Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent tragedy in the UK. In light of the current situation, we will not be proceeding with our plans for the 'Wonder Woman' premiere and junket activities in London.
Of course, we cannot forget the importance of a film like Wonder Woman -- particularly in the face of such a tragedy. Acting as a prequel to the rest of the DCEU, the film follows Gal Gadot's Diana Prince as she leaves the shelter of her home on the mysterious Themyscira to fight alongside Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) on the battlefields of WWI. It is a film entirely predicated on finding hope amidst the horrors of war, and its message feels oddly poignant and poetic in the wake of recent events.