According to The Hollywood Reporter, Saudi Arabia has banned Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. According to the publication’s sources, the film starring Benedict Cumberbatch has an LGBTQ character named America Chavez, who is homosexual in the comics. The censor board also rejected the video since homosexuality is prohibited in Middle Eastern countries. America Chavez is a character that Marvel has wanted to introduce for a long time (she was even briefly featured in Spider-Man: No Way Home), and her sexuality isn’t stopping the team from doing so.
The unfortunate reality is that many parts of the Middle East still have a long way to go in terms of LGBTQIA+ concerns, as these people do not have the same rights or treatment as those in other parts of the world. In movies, this is still the case, with Doctor Strange 2 facing the same restriction as Eternals due to a gay character. Despite the fact that this will hurt Disney and Marvel’s box office returns with this sequel, the studio is committed to including such representation in its films, no matter how minor it is in the plot.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness takes place after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home and the Disney+ series WandaVision. The magician played by Benedict Cumberbatch is compelled to confront his dark side. There will most certainly be several new Marvel characters presented, as well as the return of a few old ones. Sam Raimi, best known for directing Tobey Maguire in the original Spider-Man trilogy, directs the picture.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, advance booking for the film is no longer available in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Qatar. They are, however, available in the United Arab Emirates, hinting that the film will be released there. West Side Story and Eternals screenings had previously been halted in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to be released on May 6. Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Rachel McAdams all star in the film.