Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness scene causes backlash in China

Written by on May 3, 2022

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness scene causes backlash in China

A scene out of Marvel’s highly-anticipated sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has sparked a backlash in China and potentially dashed hopes that it could become one of the rare Marvel films to be released in the country.

According to Deadline, Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen starrer multiverse madness has made waves on local social media upsetting few in China over a scene in the opening bit of the sequel where a newspaper kiosk bears the Chinese characters for The Epoch Times, an international multi-language newspaper and media company which opposes the Chinese Communist Party.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has also been banned in Middle Eastern countries for depiction of the gay character American Chavez. China has also not approved releases for Marvel’s latest films that include Eternals, Shang-Chi, Black Widow, and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home partly due to Black Widow’s depiction of communism and critical comments about Beijing made by Eternals director Chloé Zhao. No Marvel films have been released in China since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

Directed by Sam Raimi, the film brings back Benedict Cumberbatch’s character for the first Marvel film since Spider-Man: No Way Home. It will also mark the return of Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) for the first time since the Disney Plus series WandaVision. The sequel also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stühlbarg, and Rachel McAdams with Kevin Feige as the producer.

The official description for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse reads, “Now that Iron Man and Captain America have left after a fierce battle in Avengers: Endgame, former genius surgeon and the strongest magician of them all, Doctor Strange, is expected to play an active role as a central figure in the Avengers. However, using his magic to manipulate time and space at will with a forbidden spell that is considered the most dangerous has opened the door to a mysterious madness called ‘the Multiverse.'”

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will release in theatres in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam on May 6, 2022.

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