Once Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was banned to release in Saudi Arabia, it was only a question of time before other countries would follow suit. IMAX Egypt took to its official Twitter account to announce that the screenings for the Doctor Strange sequel have been canceled in the country. While no explicit reason is stated, it’s very likely due to the fact that Marvel Studios refuses to remove LGBTQ elements. Xochitl Gomez will play the character of America Chavez, who has been openly gay in the comics.
Currently, the film is banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar but the United Arab Emirates is still seemingly open to showcasing the film. Even Eteranls, which also included an openly LGBTQ character, was released on the market. These two films refused to adapt their offerings and are some of the few films moving away from this trend. Warner Bros. still removed LGBTQ scenes for the Chinese release of Fantastic Beast: the Secrets of Dumbledore. claiming it won’t change the film’s score, which adds some questionable aspects about how these story elements are so easily removed.
It’s not been easy for LGBTQ representation worldwide, and there are still markets where these discussions aren’t at a stage that one might expect. As Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently sticking to its guns, we will also very unlikely see the film release in China, which hasn’t let in any of the last few Marvel films. It’s great to see the film stick to its guns and not adapt its film to just add to its box office worldwide. We’ll see just how big the film might end up being though, as it currently is doing quite well in its presales.