Marvel’s Eternals is getting released this week and the latest installment in the MCU has had a constant run in the news. From the start, a film critic for a well-known publication spoiled a major mid-credit scene that kicked up some serious dust on Film Twitter. After that, the Rotten Tomatoes score for Eternals has it placed as the worst-reviewed Marvel Studios movie – though I think Thor: The Dark World should still hold that title. Now, more news suggests the movie still can’t catch a break.
It’s being reported that Eternals is banned overseas because of the movie’s gay elements. The Hollywood Reporter states that the latest installment into the MCU will not be playing in theaters in Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Qatar. That might cause a sizable hiccup at the box-office when the movie is supposed to debut in those countries on November 11th.
Homosexuality is still considered illegal in those Middle Eastern areas – and there was a request for Disney to edit out the scenes. I’ve seen the movie and it’s not graphic by any means.
In the movie, Phastos, played by Brian Tyree Henry, is an openly gay superhero and shares a kiss with his husband Ben, played by Haaz Sleiman. The scene is played up as one of the biggest emotional moments in Eternals. Cutting that scene out would more than likely severely undercut some of that overarching storyline.
The ban has been placed because Disney has decided to stand its ground and not remove it from the movie. It’s definitely an interesting turn of events because the House of Mouse has been known to kowtow to international censoring requests to turn a bigger global profit.
The news of a gay character in Eternals is nothing new. Last month, Chloé Zhao spoke about Disney possibly changing this relationship – but the director said that discussions were had and that Disney would stick to their guns.
Eternals will hit theaters on November 5th, 2021.