London — The gala UK premiere of Iron Man 3 is being postponed one day because of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.
The highly anticipated sequel was supposed to debut on Wednesday, April 17, in London but will now screen instead on Thursday at the Odeon Leicester Square cinema. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and other actors in the film are expected to show up at the red carpet premiere and, according to one media account, “The stars of the blockbuster movie are said to have been ‘most accommodating’ over the change in date.”
The former UK prime minister, nicknamed the “Iron Lady” for her decisive leadership style, passed away Monday at age 87 from a stroke. Mrs. Thatcher, the then-leader of the Conservative Party, is the only woman to have served as the head of the British government.
London officials were concerned about the logistics of the two events on Wednesday attracting huge crowds — with thousands of citizens expected to watch the Thatcher funeral procession as it makes it way through the city — and occurring on the same day including the resulting traffic chaos and gridlock. “[M]ore than 2,000 guests have been invited to attend her ceremony which will begin with a procession from Westminster through central London and on to St. Paul’s Cathedral.”
If all the offensive, disrespectful comments on social media about Baroness Thatcher’s passing are any indication, as well as street “celebrations” by Thatcher haters, there is the possibility of demonstrations and protests during the funeral procession. “With anarchists taking to online forums and social media abuzz with calls for protest in Trafalgar Square, a location within touching distance of Leicester Square, the British capital is bracing itself for any fallout on the day. Security for the funeral is reported to be a massive undertaking …”
The US premiere of Iron Man 3 is scheduled for May 3.