Even as Marvel Studios approaches the upcoming debut for Doctor Strange 2, the studio's last outing, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is still one of the hottest topics in the movie community. Featuring dozens of show-stopping moments, from Charlie Cox's introduction as Daredevil to the epic final battle with all three Spider-Men, No Way Home was one of the biggest wins in cinematic history.
However, even with Marvel Studios adding to its box office prowess (three of the six highest-grossing movies ever belong to the MCU), the team behind this franchise still faces its share of worldwide controversy.
Namely, this has come in recent times with certain movies being banned in countries across the world for various reasons - ones which still indicate how far the world has to go in terms of tolerance and equality. Black Widow fell victim to a national month of celebration in China, and both Shang-Chi and Eternals had tough runs after comments from starring actor Simu Liu and director Chloe Zhao, respectively.
Currently, Doctor Strange 2 faces multiple international bans thanks to its LGBTQIA+ content, although Marvel has no plans to acquiesce to these countries' requests for the movie to be changed. Marvel has maintained its course of standing its ground all throughout Phase 4, and thanks to a new report, it's been confirmed that Spider-Man: No Way Home was no different.
No Home for No Way Home in China
Puck News shared new details about the reasons behind China's regulatory ban of Spider-Man: No Way Home, even after both previous MCU Spider-Man movies released in theaters.
Multiple sources noted that Chinese authorities requested Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures remove the Statue of Liberty from the ending of the movie, meaning that many of the scenes in the threequel's entire final battle - which many fans consider to contain some of the movie's most memorable sequences - would have to be cut or heavily edited. Sony CEO Tom Rothman promptly refused to make such a drastic change to the film.
Soon after, China asked if Lady Liberty could be minimized during this sequence, along with asking for shots of Holland on top of the crown to be cut and for the lighting to be dimmed around the statue. Once again, Sony refused to make these adjustments, as the company was still unsure if even going that far would get Spider-Man: No Way Home into Chinese theaters.
Although this meant forfeiting potential box office returns in China, recent trends have shown that American films released in China aren't performing as well as they previously had, meaning that Sony's ultimate decision wasn't as costly.
Sony and Marvel Refuse China Requests
Over the past couple of years, relations with China have grown more troublesome with each new issue, which has bled more into the country's policies with international movie releases. Even so, it's becoming clear that movie studios like Sony and Marvel are determined to give fans the stories that they intended, no matter what other countries may see as unfit for consumption.
Even considering how often and how drastically China's media requirements affect non-Chinese films, this request was clearly one that would have affected its citizens' viewing experience with this new adventure. Taking out the entire final battle of any movie is going to have a massive effect on the story, but No Way Home's was particularly important as it brought all three cinematic Spider-Men alongside each other for the first time.
Thankfully, Sony and Marvel knew how big of a moment this was, particularly with the Statue of Liberty being such an iconic part of Peter Parker's hometown, New York City. And on top of that, even without China's contributions, the threequel became Sony's most profitable movie ever and nearly broke $2 billion at the global box office - a feat that only a few movies in history can boast.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now available to watch via digital release and Blu-ray.