The upcoming movie release from Marvel Studios, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is almost ready to open a ring portal and land in cinemas around the world. With the highly anticipated MCU sequel less than a month away, the hype meter is at a fever pitch as fans continue to theorize, speculate, and prepare for what is sure to be a blockbuster of gargantuan proportions.
And as such, the film’s marketing blitz has well and truly begun. Marvel rolled out TV spots, merchandise and posters for Multiverse of Madness and will of course continue to do so until it hits theaters.
Sometimes Marvel Studios will need to adjust certain aspects of their releases for different regions. In many cases, this is to update the film‘s credentials to appeal to the more local crowd. This was most notable in 2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with Steve Rogers’ diary containing different lists of pop culture items, depending on the country in which it was viewed.
However, some aspects will sometimes need to be tweaked to avoid offending moviegoers around the world.
You have to hand it over to Marvel
The recently released official theatrical poster for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness presents a notable modification on the version that was released in the Italian markets. Benedict Cumberbatch’s master of the mystical arts had his left hand photoshopped so as not to wave a hand gesture considered offensive in Italy.
Take a look at the change below:
The “sign of the horns” hand gesture has been replaced with a more innocuous hand positioning on the Italian version of the theatrical poster:
In Italy and other selected regions of the world, waving at an individual implies that the targeted person is a cuckold (a man whose wife is sexually unfaithful). This is obviously not the case in all countries; since the 1980s, this hand signal has become synonymous with heavy metal in the United States and other English-speaking countries.
A not so strange switch
It’s good to see Marvel and Disney being sensitive to different cultures with Doctor Strange 2′s marketing, because this particular case seems like an easy mistake to make if you weren’t paying attention to it.
It should be noted that the hand position shown in the US version of the poster is what Doctor Strange is generally known for, especially in the comics. It’s also quite similar to the gesture Spider-Man uses to activate his web-shooters, which seems to be largely coincidental.
As for the finished film, it will be very interesting to see if the poster change carries over to the film itself. Will Marvel Studios use computer-generated effects to digitally alter Strange’s (or other wizard’s) hand gestures to avoid ruffling feathers?
This question, along with many others (such as “What’s up with Professor X?”), will likely be answered when Marvel Studios Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6.