The film is still listed among upcoming titles in the United Arab Emirates.
Marvel’s latest film, Eternals, will reportedly not be released in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film was set to release in the Gulf region on November 11, but has been removed from websites in the above countries. The decision was likely made over the inclusion of a same-sex couple in the film and the MCU’s first gay superhero. In one scene, the character, Phastos (played by Brian Tyree Henry), and his on-screen husband, Ben (Haaz Sleiman), share a kiss.
In Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman, the censors were seeking further cuts beyond any scenes of intimacy and that Disney opted not to make the edits, hence distribution certificates weren’t issued.
Meanwhile, in Kuwait and Qatar, the issue, may not solely be the same-sex kiss, but rather that overall these markets have historically had a problem with the depiction of gods and prophets, something they consider blasphemous.
One of the Middle East’s exhibitors Vox Cinemas shows that Eternals is still listed as a “Coming Soon” title in regions like the United Arab Emirates but is quietly absent from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.
Eternals is directed by Chloé Zhao, and the film tells the story of celestial beings who for all of humanity’s existence on Earth have been tasked with protecting the fate of the planet from alien monsters called Deviants.
The film stars an ensemble cast including Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie.