San Diego Comic-Con cancelled for first time amid coronavirus outbreak

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San Diego Comic-Con, an annual celebrity-studded showcase of superhero films and pop culture, has been cancelled for the first time in its 50-year history due to the global coronavirus outbreak, organisers said on Friday.

Comic-Con had been scheduled to take place in July. The event typically draws tens of thousands of costumed revelers to a San Diego convention hall and surrounding streets, restaurants and hotels.

“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,” organisers said in a statement posted on the convention’s website.

The next San Diego Comic-Con is scheduled for 22-25 July 2021, the statement said.

Comic-Con had become a major event for TV networks and movie producers to promote upcoming programming. Last year’s lineup featured Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman talking about their roles in upcoming films from Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) Marvel Studios, and Tom Cruise previewing a new “Top Gun” movie.