Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been banned in Saudi Arabia. The news comes courtesy of a Hollywood Reporter article clarifying the decision. In the same vein as Eternals and West Side Story getting banned in the territory, it centers around an LGBTQ+ character in the film. America Chavez is gay in the comics and that's a sticking point for the Saudi Arabian government. It's policy that homosexuality in media is illegal in film over in that country. Movies and TV shows that feature LGBTQ references or issues run into this kind of trouble. Now, Multiverse of Madness will not be released on May 5th in Saudi Arabia as a part of the worldwide push supporting the movie. Ticketing websites in Kuwait and Qatar both have the movie missing from their storefronts. But, tickets are still available in the United Arab Emirates.
Director Sam Raimi said Chavez was important to the film in a conversation with Empire Magazine. Strange is still learning about the Multiverse," Raimi began. "And here's a character that can actually travel through it. He's such a know-it-all all the time, and to have to learn from a kid probably smarts." So, clearly Chavez has a better handle on all this Multiverse stuff than the former Sorcerer Supreme does. Strange is probably going to have to learn on the fly.
Cumberbatch continued, "There's a lot of reckoning. And a lot of self-discovery. Strange is almost a stranger to himself before this film unfolds and reveals what, essentially, is in his nature, that he then has to either confront or resist or fall into or become… There are some very bold ideas, and some extraordinary tests of Strange and encounters. There are some very unexpected conclusions."
Marvel Studios dropped a description for the movie: "Now that Iron Man and Captain America have left after a fierce battle in Avengers: Endgame, former genius surgeon and the strongest magician of them all, Doctor Strange, is expected to play an active role as a central figure in the Avengers. However, using his magic to manipulate time and space at will with a forbidden spell that is considered the most dangerous has opened the door to a mysterious madness called 'the Multiverse.'"
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