Icelandic eruption disrupts events

Volcanic ash turns showbiz plans to dust

LONDON — Paramount and Marvel’s decision to move the “Iron Man 2” world preem from London to Los Angeles due to the volcanic ash cloud has been the biggest disruption to the film business so far.

But international film and TV execs’ travel plans continue to be disrupted as more eruptions from the Icelandic volcano Monday hampered plans to reopen some European airports. Events including the London Book Fair, Tribeca Film Festival and BritWeek in Los Angeles are also seeing cancellations and schedule changes.

Paramount and Marvel Entertainment said in a statement, “Due to the continuing air travel uncertainty, Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment have taken the decision to move the ‘Iron Man 2’ world premiere and junket to Los Angeles. A press release will be issued in due course advising of this event and confirming talent attendance.”

The film, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke and Gwyneth Paltrow, was due to preem in the U.K. capital on Sunday.

The flight danger due to the cloud has some execs worried about travel to the Cannes Film Festival, which begins May 12, but for now bizzers are assuming air travel will resume by then.

The London Book Fair, which kicked off Monday, has been heavily affected, with a fifth of the seminars cancelled and exhibitors also down by a fifth, according to news reports.

Last week, many delegates at the Mip TV mart were left stranded in Cannes after flight delays and cancellations across many airlines, with some still attempting to return to the States.

French filmmaker Thomas Balmes, who arrived in San Francisco for the launch of Focus Features docu “Babies” before air travel was shut down, was unable to return to France and has decided to remain in the U.S. doing publicity for the film, which opens May 7.

All flights in and out of the U.K. have been suspended since April 15.

Tribeca Film Festival spokeswoman Tammie Rosen said in a statement: “We are monitoring the travel of the filmmakers flying in from overseas and rerouting the filmmakers whose flights have been impacted. We are working to try get all the filmmakers here for their festival screenings.”

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