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The Real Reason Eternals Isn't Being Released In These Countries

When it comes to the movie business, American films often make a significant portion of their profits from the international market — as do films from other countries. But sometimes, cultural differences in certain film markets create a barrier. American movies get banned in other countries for all sorts of reasons, and Marvel's upcoming Phase 4 film, "Eternals," is no different.

"Eternals" is a unique Marvel film in many different ways. It features a relatively unknown group of characters from the Marvel canon, the titular Eternals, who are a race of ancient demigods created by the Celestials, and who have been living in hiding on Earth for millennia. It's also a groundbreaking movie in terms of representation. "Eternals" features both a diverse cast and diverse characters, including the first deaf superhero, Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), as well as the first openly gay superhero to appear in a Marvel film, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry). Phastos, who's in a long-term relationship with a man named Ben (Haaz Sleiman), even gets an onscreen kiss — which is already causing some controversy online (via The Hill).

Unfortunately, "Eternals" might be a bit too groundbreaking for censors in several Middle Eastern countries. Here's why these five nations won't be allowing "Eternals" in their movie theaters.

Eternals won't be playing in Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, or Qatar

Deadline reported that the above five countries have refused to grant distribution permits for Marvel's "Eternals." While the countries haven't provided official reasons, the trade publication was able to provide some. For some background, many countries request that distributors provide films with all scenes of intimacy removed. An intimacy-free version of "Eternals" will be playing in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.

In Saudia Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman, censors requested a version of the film with further edits beyond the intimacy edit, although Deadline didn't specify what those were. Disney declined, and the countries didn't provide distribution certificates. In Kuwait and Qatar, the situation is a bit more clear. Deadline reported that those two countries objected to the depiction of "divine beings and prophets," which some consider to be blasphemous. Although it's worth noting the report implies the same-sex kiss comes into play, too.

Whatever the reasons, Marvel fans in those five nations are sure to be disappointed.