Marvel's latest multiversal adventure, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is hotly anticipated by fans of the MCU. However, some fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may find themselves struggling to see the film due to a governmental ban of the magical movie adventure.
Why is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness banned?
Over the weekend, two countries banned Marvel's upcoming movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Both countries banned the upcoming movie without outright citing the cause for the movie’s prohibition.
However, many fans have pointed out that there is a reason behind the film’s release restriction in the countries. Just like other Marvel films that have been banned in the regions — for example, Eternals — the Strange sequel features a main character that is part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will feature scenes with America Chavez, also known as Miss America. Just like in the comics, Chavez is a lesbian superhero, one that is said to kiss her girlfriend in a scene in the film. However, due to the inclusion of that scene, the movie will not be shown in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.
America Chavez has been a gay superhero for over half a decade in Marvel comic books, and the MCU isn't about to change that. While prior Marvel films have erased characters’ queerness in the past, the studio is finally making characters comic accurate. This means that Loki is gender fluid — like both the comic character and the Norse god he's based off — and Valkyrie is bisexual.
The Edit Button
Of course, if Marvel really wanted to, the studio could edit out the queer scenes in order to get a release in anti-LGBTQ regions. While the move would draw massive backlash from LGBTQ+ fans, it would result in more money.
On the other hand, Marvel won't do that. The studio has already played its hand with movies such as Eternals, refusing to edit out scenes to appease bigots. Furthermore, while a ban in Saudi Arabia and Egypt may result in less money, it will be a tiny, miniscule dent in the film’s box office.
With Marvel movies consistently making hundreds of millions, often billions, of dollars, two small regions will barely make a difference.