Thor’s out… is it a blip or a sign of things to come for Disney fans in Malaysia?
The situation with Thor: Love and Thunder is likely not an outlier but will probably be repeated in the future
THOR: Love and Thunder was supposed to come out exactly three weeks ago (July 7), before it got hit with last-minute delays – first a two-week delay, which was quickly followed by an indefinite delay – and now Disney has officially given notice that the film is not coming to Malaysian cinemas at all.
Curiously enough, this announcement was not accompanied by an official reasoning behind the ban itself. None of Marvel, Disney, or local exhibitors TGV and GSC, or the LPF (Film Censorship Board) have expanded on the reasoning.
Plenty of theories have been floated, with the most popular being the prevalence of LGBT content in the movie – a couple characters allude to being in same-sex relationships – to payback for the banning of Lightyear a month before, to keeping out of cinemas potential threats to Mat Kilau’s box office dominance, to the anti-God ideology of the movies villain, Gorr the God Butcher.
Either way, Malaysian fans are the ones left hanging, as one of the most anticipated movies of the year are left hanging. Cinema chains, which were especially hit hard by the pandemic, also lose out on the potential revenue from ticket sales and concessions.
By this point, Malaysian fans aren’t really surprised and saw the writing on the wall, already either having lost interest in Thor: Love and Thunder – having seen it through other means – or ready to see it on Disney+ Hotstar.
This past weekend, Marvel unveiled its comprehensive slate of cinema and streaming titles planned for the next three years, culminating in two sure-to-be mega-successful Avengers movies in 2025 – hoping to reach the heights of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. The question is how many of those movies will come to Malaysian cinemas.
Disney as a whole has been very vocal about making their movies more and more LGBT-friendly to the consternation of conservative elements. The fact that their recent movies are still incredibly successful without coming out in China means they will likely ignore the complaints of smaller markets.
So the possibility of future movies from the House of Mouse having their releases in Malaysia cancelled is likely.
The next movie on the docket is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, scheduled for a November release. The trailer that was released this weekend is one of Marvel’s best as it promises a more emotionally powerful story due to the tragic death of star Chadwick Boseman two years ago.
Of course, despite all that, a hint of a gay relationship could sink its release here.
Then again, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also included a reference to a same-sex relationship, and its release was not impeded in anyway.
Ultimately, the future could look a lot like Thor: Love and Thunder, where a film gets pulled right at the last moment, after a build-up of hype.
People will just turn to piracy if they need to see it, or they will wait for the movie to pop up on a streaming service, where government censorship bodies have little to no power.
source – The Vibes