20th Century Fox has canceled Hugh Jackman's scheduled appearances in Mexico due to the outbreak of swine flu, putting a crimp in the studio's plans to promote X-Men Origins: Wolverine south of the border, according to the Associated Press. The film was set to premiere with a red carpet event on Wednesday at the National Auditorium.

There are any number of tasteless, stupid jokes that could be inserted here about Wolverine's healing abilities and viruses, etc. (and I used it up in the headline, frankly) but it's kind of hard to make with the funny when the death count in Mexico City is150 and climbing. Honestly, skipping a junket as per the CDC's advisement that all non-essential travel to Mexico be avoided ... well, it's the smartest thing that Jackman could do. Even though you know that somewhere, there's a marketing exec screaming, "But it is essential! We need those interviews to rope in the Latino audience! Ignore the CDC! Get Jackman a face mask and send him anyway!"

It'll be interesting to see how Flu Fear will affect the marketing for other films, now that the summer movie season's starting and we appear to have a serious epidemic spreading through several parts of the country. Today Varietytells us that Paramount has already postponed the May 8 release of Star Trek in Mexico, while Sony may do the same with Angels & Demons. New York City currently has the highest concentration of swine flu cases here in the U.S., according to the CDC -- if there's a major outbreak there, will the producers of Terminator:Salvation, Up and other May releases curtail publicity in the nation's primary media center? Or will studios decide that profits are more important than protecting their talent from illness?
categories Cinematical