Deadline reported yesterday that Marvel’s latest juggernaut, The Eternals, will not be shown in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. The film — which contains the MCUs first same-sex kiss — was due to open in those markets on November 11, but censors sought further cuts beyond any scenes of same-sex intimacy. Disney opted not to make the edits, hence distribution certificates weren’t issued.
In the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, Deadline reported that a version of The Eternals will be released that removes all scenes of intimacy — be they heterosexual or homosexual. This is generally a normal practice for those markets.
Asked by Australian outlet news.com.au about concerns in those countries over the film’s same-sex marriage between Phastos and Haaz Sleiman, Angelina Jolie — who plays the immortal Thena in the film — called such fears “ignorant.”
“I still don’t understand how we live in a world today where there’s still [people who] would not see the family Phastos has and the beauty of that relationship and that love,” she said. “How anybody is angry about it, threatened by it, doesn’t approve or appreciate it is ignorant.”
Meanwhile in Kuwait and Qatar, the Chloe Zhao-directed super-gods movie was blocked. The issue, we hear, 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.