Previously, it was reported that Lebanon was trying to ban Wonder Woman from any sort of theatrical distribution in its country. Well, as of today, the Gal Gadot-starring film has officially been prevented from being released on Lebanese screens, as per information released by theatrical exhibitor Grand Cinemas.
The pressure to not show Wonder Woman on Lebanese screens has been mounting for some time now, as the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon had been speaking out against the fact that the film's star is not only an Israeli citizen, but also served in the country's army. Seeing as Lebanon is still at war with Israel, and has strict codes that forbid Lebanese and Israeli citizens to interact with one another, this seemed like a fait accompli from the beginning. Though looking into the deeper details of the story, it doesn't look like this will hurt the film much at all.
As the item on Deadline specifies, it looks like Wonder Woman was only going to be shown at 15 locations in Lebanon. With previous Gadot-starring films, such as Furious 7 and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, bringing in no more than $1.8 million in the territory, the ban will not be a killing blow to the film's anticipated $175 million worldwide haul this weekend. If anything, it looks like Warner Bros will only be losing out on roughly the equivalent of a major motion picture's snack budget.
While it can be seen as an upsetting development, this development shouldn't ruin the enjoyment for fans of Wonder Woman, as there's still a huge audience that's still accessible to the film's release. Now if the film were to lean heavily on the depictions of ghosts or supernatural specters, we'd be a little more worried, as the Patty Jenkins-directed film would find itself in the crosshairs of Chinese censors, much like Crimson Peak and last year's Ghostbusters reboot. As of now, the film is still a tale of gods and men, with the princess of Themyscira finding her place in the world between the two.
Political pressure is not a problem unique or strange to Wonder Woman, and it's not the only controversy the film has managed to incite in its detractors. But like its titular hero, the film and all those championing it have positioned their armored cuffs and deflected any sort of road blocks, delivering the finished product that's rolling into theaters this weekend. Judging how long fans have been waiting for a Wonder Woman film, and how much DC and Warner Bros are probably investing in this film's potential to earn them some much needed good will, it would take Ares himself to derail this film, and something tells us that's not going to work.
Wonder Woman will lasso crowds by the truckload in early showings tomorrow, with a full roll-out on Friday.