Not surprising given the recent releases, the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe film is surrounded by controversy online but this time it’s for a different reason than you’d think. During D23, the character of Sabra was introduced and would be played by Shira Haas in the upcoming film Captain America: New World Order. Given the Israel and Palestine conflict, this has led to quite the controversy in addition to the “New World Order” having been used for anti-semites online.
The controversy took its hold online in certain circles and has now led to an official statement by Marvel Studios through an article for The New York Times. It seems that they’ew highlighting that they are “taking a new approach” with the character of Sabra.
While our characters and stories are inspired by the comics. They are always freshly imagined for the screen and today’s audience, and the filmmakers are taking a new approach with the character Sabra who was first introduced in the comics over 40 years ago
It’s hard to say if this jump may have been an assumption on the character’s comic history and Marvel simply wanted to take an existing character to put it in a better spotlight, moving away from its original rather questionable storyline.
In many ways, this was a lose-lose situation for Marvel even if they tried to pull through with it, as reactions occurred before a single glimpse of the actual story came to light. As they haven’t started production yet, it still gave them a chance to maybe tweak a few elements and this statement also serves to hint at that happening.
There’s more to this controversy given the history surrounding the name. Many have made the connection to the Sabra and Shatila massacre when it was first announced. So, while the name was carried over from the comics, it has become associated with a terrible act that occurred in Lebanon back in 1982. We’ll have to see how they tackle this challenge once more news surfaces.