Although the MCU sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is being well received by critics and fans, it will likely be banned in at least one major market due to its inclusion of LGBTQ+ identities. Currently, only 34 foreign films are approved for theatrical release in China each year by the China Movie Administration, and all films must be screened for the government-appointed board before they can be shown in cinemas in China.
The board can be picky about everything from using magic in the media to wearing a Taiwanese patch on the sleeve. Since all allusion to homosexuality is banned in the country, it is not uncommon for films to change their content to appease the boards. Included in this highlight section is the newest, MCU, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Without spoilers, here’s what the report is about.
Does China Really Ban Wakanda Forever?
The first Black Panther movie made $105 million when it was released in 2018. When authorities in Beijing decide not to approve a foreign movie’s release in the city’s cinemas, the film’s studio and fans of the city must wait, speculate and hope. However, The Hollywood Reporter learned from multiple sources within the Chinese film industry that the MCU’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever doesn’t have a strong chance of being greenlit at this time.
According to THR reports, some players in Beijing’s film industry have come to terms with the idea that an effective ban on Marvel entities has been enacted. The conspicuous display of the Statue of Liberty in Spider-Man: No Way Home was considered too strong an emblem of American political principles by Chinese authorities,
Meanwhile, in the case of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and the Eternals, it was Simu Liu and Chloe Zhao’s year-old interview statements that were aimed at bashing China. Hollywood has a history of removing gay characters from movies to appease Chinese censors, which has boosted box office receipts by millions of dollars.
To appease the censors in foreign regions, disney no longer claims to remove LGBTQ+ material. Meanwhile, the studio refused to remove a “gay scene” from the live-action Beauty and the Beast in 2017 despite pressure from Malaysian content censors. Preliminary tracking points to a domestic opening of $175 million or more for Wakanda Forever, so it should do well at the box office without China.