There were hopes that Marvel would finally break their streak of having their films not released in China, but those hopes are now in doubt for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film has been submitted to Chinese authorities and the decision is pending, but the recently released scene showing part of the opening of the film features a newspaper kiosk that bears the name of an international multi-language newspaper and media company which opposes the Chinese Communist Party.
According to Deadline, China is upset over the scene below that features a newspaper kiosk with the Chinese characters for The Epoch Times. The newspaper is famous for opposing the Chinese Communist Party. It is receiving backlash over this, especially from those who support the Communist Chinese government.
The controversy is building on-line, and it would be hard for either the Chinese government or Disney to not be aware of it by now, though no comment has come from either. The first Doctor Strange film made $109 million in the PRC, but no Marvel movie has been released in China since Avengers: Endgame. That means the worldwide box office for Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and Spider-Man: No Way Home were all lower because one of the largest media markets was absent.
Speaking of short clips from Doctor Strange 2 that go by so quickly you may have missed them, in the latest trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we see Benedict Cumberbatch’s character visiting with the Illuminati and while we still have seen who is in that group, we get another shot of what is likely Professor Xavier’s arm and his hover chair and then we get new footage of Captain Carter’s shield being thrown and embedding into a wall of that same chamber. While we have yet to see Patrick Stewart and Hayley Atwell, both are making their presence clear. And we have yet to see who else is in the group, which may end up being even bigger surprises.
The Doctor Strange sequel opens this Friday, May 6th, in theaters everywhere.