Marvel’s Eternals is the film set to hit theaters Friday that is slated to take the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the superhero in bold new directions.
However, some of the groundbreaking representation it will introduce is apparently resulting in the film being banned in some countries, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Apparently, due to the film featuring the MCU’s first same-sex couple, it will not hit cinemas in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Qatar. Though the film was due for release across the Gulf region on Nov. 11, Marvel and Disney reportedly declined to make a series of edit requests by some local censors.
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Eternals’ all-star cast includes Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, and Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, who is the MCU’s first openly gay superhero. The film was previously given an 18+ rating in Russia for this same reason.
It came to light that the movie would not air in the Gulf region Thursday when Eternals was quietly removed from websites in each of those counties. However, the film is still listed as coming soon n the United Arab Emirates.
With homosexuality still being officially illegal across the Gulf, sources suggested the ban was likely due to the inclusion of a same-sex married couple, of whom Tyree Henry’s Phastos and Haaz Sleiman’s Ben share a passionate kiss on screen at one point.
A regional movie chain acknowledged the film was “banned” but said they weren’t told why.
Eternals comes to theaters in the U.S. this Friday, Nov. 5.