‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ will not be shown in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East after it failed to pass the region’s censorship requirements.
The film, which serves as the sequel to the 2018 movie ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’, was slated for a 22 June release.
It is set in a shared multiverse of alternate universes called the ‘Spider-Verse’ and follows Miles (Shameik Moore) and Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) as they go on an adventure across the multiverse, where they encounter the Spider-Society.
With a runtime of 140 minutes, it is the longest animated film ever produced by an American studio.
Although the official reason for the film being banned is unclear, it is believed to be the result of a pro-trans flag briefly being shown on screen.
Officials in Saudi Arabia previously requested that “LGBTQ+ references” be cut from ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, while ‘Bros’ was not released in the Middle East due to featuring gay sex scenes.
In many Middle Eastern regions, homosexuality is still criminalised and is even punishable by death in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Although social attitudes in the region often do not align with the law, Human Dignity Trust has reported “substantial evidence of the law being enforced” there.
You can watch the trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ below or by clicking here.