With the premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness just a few months away, Marvel Studios has accomplished an achievement that should be celebrated given the scope and expectations surrounding this sequel. Despite the fact that this is a story that opens up the Multiverse and introduces perhaps dozens of new characters, the road leading up to its release hasn’t been without its bumps.
This has been especially true in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when the brand made a more concentrated effort than ever before to bring much-needed diversity to the big and small screens. The trend began with the portrayal of Phastos as gay in last year’s Eternals, and Doctor Strange 2 will continue in the same vein. but it’s evident that some sections of the world have a long way to go in this area. Just a few days ago, Saudi Arabia prohibited the release of Doctor Strange 2 in its theaters due to the fact that America Chavez is depicted as a lesbian on-screen; in the comics; she is also a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. According to current indications, the Multiversal sequel will suffer the same fate in yet another international territory.
Advanced tickets for movies in Saudi Arabia are no longer accessible on the websites of the theaters. Ticket availability in the neighbouring Gulf countries of Kuwait and Qatar has also been delayed, raising doubts about the film’s eventual distribution in those countries as well. However, they are now accessible for purchase in the United Arab Emirates, indicating that it will be made available there.
An earlier Marvel film, “The Eternals,” had been banned in Saudi Arabia for depicting a same-gender pair relationship and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first homosexual superhero, among other things. The romantic musical West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg, was similarly banned in all of the Gulf countries due to the existence of a transsexual character. Homosexuality continues to be outlawed in the Islamic countries of the Gulf, and those who engage in it face severe legal consequences.
IMAX Egypt in a recent announcement, stated that the government has prohibited the theatrical release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will be released in most of the world on May 6. This is the second such prohibition to be imposed in recent days, following a similar prohibition on the release of the next Marvel Studios feature in Saudi Arabian theaters. This is as a result of Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez being shown as gay in Doctor Strange 2, which was announced earlier last year.
Sadly, this incident reflects the fact that many countries of the Middle East still have a long way to go when it comes to LGBTQIA+ topics, as persons from the community in these areas are not afforded the same rights and treatment as they are everywhere in the world. That has continued to be the case in films as well, with Doctor Strange 2 suffering the same restriction that Eternals did due to the presence of a homosexual character.
Despite the fact that this will have a slight negative impact on the box office returns for Disney and Marvel with this sequel, the studio is committed to including this type of representation in its storylines, no matter how small a role it plays in the overall plot of the film. Despite the fact that America Chavez is a character that Marvel has wanted to present for a long time (she was even briefly featured in Spider-Man: No Way Home), the crew is not deterred from completely developing her on-screen because of her sexuality.
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe promises to include more LGBTQIA+ representation in future instalments, audiences will undoubtedly be on the lookout for other movies and Disney+ projects that are subjected to the same kind of treatment. America Chavez will undoubtedly not be the last gay character to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as there have been rumors that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie may come out in this year’s Thor: Love and Thunder. It’s clear that America Chavez will not be the last gay character to appear in the MCU.
Sam Raimi, the director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse, recently spoke with Empire Magazine about how Chavez is a significant character in the film.
“Strange is still getting to know his way around the Multiverse,” Raimi said. “And here’s a character who is truly capable of travelling through it.” It must have been difficult for him to learn from a child because he’s such a know-it-all all of the time.” “There’s a lot of reckoning,”
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) explained more:
In addition to a great deal of self-discovery. The protagonist, Strange, is virtually a stranger to himself before the plot of the film unfolds and shows what, in essence, is in his nature, which he then has to either confront or oppose, or fall into or become… There are some truly audacious concepts, as well as some incredible tests of Strange and interactions in this movie. Some of the conclusions are really unexpected.”
The Officila Synopsis for the movie was released along with the trailer:
“Now that Iron Man and Captain America have been expelled from the Avengers: Endgame following a bloody conflict, Doctor Strange, the erstwhile genius surgeon and the strongest magician of them all, is expected to play an active role as a prominent figure in the Avengers.” He has, on the other hand, used his magic to manipulate time and space at will, using a banned spell that is regarded to be the most dangerous, which has opened the door to a mystery madness known as “the Multiverse.”
Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse of Madness will be released in theaters across the majority of the world on May 6, 2022.