UPDATE with more details at event: In the wake of the deadly attacks this morning in Brussels, Warner Bros made a slight adjustment for tonight’s London premiere of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. The event went on as planned, though the studio canceled the typical red carpet interviews.
Aside from heavy traffic on the streets of London to reach the venue, the red carpet portion of the premiere felt typical of these types of events at Odeon Leicester Square, though police did appear slightly more on edge outside the theater. It was a full house ahead of the screening.
After the stars walked the red carpet, director Zack Snyder addressed fans from a stage outside.
“You guys are probably aware of the tragic events that happened earlier today in Brussels,” he said to the crowd. “I just want to take a second to say our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with everyone and we want to thank everyone for being here. Can we — can everybody take a second?” He bowed his head slightly, and after a short while, the festive mood returned.
Earlier in the day, after the attacks in Brussels, the studio released a statement about its plans for the premiere: “Our hearts go out to the victims of recent terrorist attacks, their families and the communities impacted around the world. Rather than yield to terror, we’ve decided to join the film’s fans and move forward with the London premiere of Batman V Superman this evening.”
The team from the film is here including stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill along with Snyder. When I passed through Leicester Square last night, the red carpet was already rolled out with monitors lining the area, spelling out “Batman” and “Superman” in a V, being tested by technicians.
This premiere follows events held in China, Mexico and New York. There were no plans for an event in Brussels, where the Kinepolis and UGC cinema chains shuttered for the day today, pending further news. The film is still due to be released in Belgium tomorrow, though it remains to be seen if the theaters will open and, indeed, if folks will venture out.
Following the deadly terrorist attacks Paris in November, cinemas in the French capital were closed for much of the weekend, although the UGC and MK2 circuits opened on the Sunday. The next weekend, as Belgium widened its search for Salah Abdeslam, one of the suspects in the Paris attacks — who was ultimately apprehended there just days ago — cinemas and other public gathering places were shut at the urging of authorities.
Preview screenings and press junkets for a handful of films were also postponed last year in Paris, and some films deemed sensitive were held back from release.