A scene from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has caused a backlash in China, potentially dashing hopes that it might become one of the rare Marvel films to be released in the country.
The movie, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has upset some in China over a scene that shows a newsstand for The Epoch Times, an international newspaper and media company that opposes the Chinese Communist Party.
Doctor Strange 2 is currently with Chinese authorities, who are reviewing it before approving its release in China, according to Deadline. The publication reported the scene in question has been “making waves on local social media”.
No Marvel films have been released in China since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
It is thought that the prevention of releases of Marvel films such as Black Widow, Eternals, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home in the country are partly due to Black Widow’s depiction of communism and critical comments about Beijing made by Eternals director Chloé Zhao.
Marvel released the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in April.
Directed by Sam Raimi, the film brings back Cumberbatch’s character for the first Marvel film after Spider-Man: No Way Home.
It will also mark the return of Wanda Maximoff AKA Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) for the first time since Disney Plus series WandaVision.
The trailer appears to debunk a theory that was floating around following WandaVision’s post-credits sequence – that she will be a villain in Doctor Strange 2.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released in the UK on 5 May and in the US on 6 May.