According to The Hollywood Reporter, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has officially been banned from Saudi Arabia, with another report adding that the film has also been banned in Egypt. Both bans are seemingly due to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters, presumably the newest addition to the cast America Chavez.
America Chavez, played by MCU newcomer Xochitl Gomez, is a gay character from the Marvel comics set to make her debut in the film. Since homosexuality is illegal in these countries, her character and subsequently the entire movie, are not making it into theaters. This news comes after Marvel’s Eternals and Disney’s West Side Story were also banned for similar reasons. Disney has been asked to make edits to these films but has not been willing to do so.
The official synopsis of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness reads: “To restore a world where everything is changing, Strange seeks help from his ally Wong, the Sorcerer Supreme, and the Avengers’ most powerful Scarlet Witch, Wanda. But a terrible threat looms over humanity and the entire universe that no longer can be done by their power alone. Even more surprising, the greatest threat in the universe looks exactly like Doctor Strange.”
Benedict Cumberbatch returns in the titular role of Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange alongside Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. The film also stars Gomez, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. There are sure to be many cameos and surprise appearances from other Marvel characters and concepts as well.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases in theaters on May 6.