As part of the global rollout, 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse' was due to be released across the Gulf on May 5.
Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries have banned Benedict Cumberbatch starrer Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel’s follow-up to the hit 2016 superhero film, due to the presence of a gay character.
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed the news.
The sequel of Doctor Strange, which will release in the US on May 6, was originally scheduled to hit theatres in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries on May 5.
The new sequel introduces the character America Chavez (played by Xochitl Gomez) who, as per her portrayal in the comics, is gay. With homosexuality officially illegal across the Gulf, films that feature any LGBTQ references or issues often fail to get past censors.
Following the decision of the authorities, advanced tickets are no longer available on the websites of cinemas in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse is not the first Marvel movie to face a ban in the Gulf nation. Previously, Chloé Zhao’s Eternals was also banned across much of the Gulf in November. The film had included a same-gender couple in the film and the MCU’s first gay superhero, hence, the ban.