“Continuous monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the Governor of California have made it clear that it would not be safe to move forward with plans for this year,” the statement said.
SDCC has gone from its 1970 origins of primarily catering to the bag-em-and-board-em comic-book-collecting crowd to becoming a major machine in the entertainment industry. Since the dawn of the current era of superhero cinema, fans could annually look forward to major SDCC announcements from Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment. The two giants would save their biggest news and sneak-peak movie trailers for Saturdays in Comic-Con’s Hall H, considered to be SDCC’s exclamation point. Hall H has lost a little luster recently since Disney’s purchase of Marvel, with D23 now serving as the landing spot for some of the Marvel announcements.
Now that superheroes are part of binge-able shows, major streamers such as Netflix (during its brief union with Marvel) and Amazon (which distributes the raunchy “The Boys”) have used SDCC as a blowhorn to attract a growing fan base looking for more than just a trip to the movies. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
Many of the year’s big Hollywood superhero moments have already been postponed. Sony’s “Bloodshot” was the long-awaited emergence of Valiant Comics on the big screen. The movie debuted March 13 but was made available for on-demand purchase on March 24 after theaters across the country began closing. Marvel Studios’s “Black Widow,” scheduled for a May release, was moved to Nov 6. WB/DC’s “Wonder Woman” sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984,” was pushed later in the summer, to August 14.
The Comic-Con news is especially hard for the comic book industry, which is already dealing with potential store closings nationwide, while major publishers like Marvel and DC, and their primary distributor, Diamond, have temporarily stopped production. Even amid the glare of the Hollywood lights, SDCC is still a premiere stop for the top comic-book writers and artists.
The Comic-Con Museum in San Diego says its scheduled opening is still on track for 2021.