NEW YORK: Warner Bros. is halting the release of “The Batman” in Russia, just days before it was to open in theaters there, as Hollywood moved to cease distribution plans in the country following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Warner Bros., the Walt Disney Co. and Sony Pictures said Monday that they would “pause” the release of their films in Russia. Each studio has significant upcoming releases that had been set to debut internationally in the coming weeks. “The Batman,” one of the year’s more anticipated films, launches Friday in North America and many overseas territories, including Russia.
“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia,” a spokesperson for the studio said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”
Warner Bros.′ move closely followed a similar decision Monday by the Walt Disney Co. The studio had planned to open the Pixar film “Turning Red” in Russia on March 10. That film is going straight to Disney+ in the U.S. Before Disney’s announcement, Warner Bros. had been expected to proceed with the Russian release of “The Batman.”