Cinema-goers who got their popcorn and sodas ready and queued up to get their tickets to watch "Wonder Woman" were in for a disappointment, as they were told that they had to choose something else to watch.

That's because cinemas in Lebanon have been asked to take down ads and tear up banners promoting the superhero film, following government orders banning the screening and cancelling a premiere only hours ahead of the schedule.

The reason?

The film was banned because Gal Gadot, who plays Diana, has previously served in the Israeli Army, which is officially still at war with Lebanon.

The decision came following a nation-wide social media campaign, led by Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon, which divided opinions and reignited a political debate. A member of the campaign told local media that the reason behind the calls to veto the screening was because Gadot ''has served in the Israeli military for two years and supported its war on Gaza.''

Mixed public reaction

Critics of the decision argue that cinemas in Lebanon have previously screened productions in which Gadot feature, including "Batman v Superman" and "Fast and Furious." Other movies in which Israeli actors and actresses, such as Natalie Portman take part, have also made it to the silver screen.

But this time things were slightly different. Supporters of the decision say that the main issue was not that Gadot was from Israel, but that the fact she has served in the military, which has been at war with Lebanon, is a red line.

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Although "Wonder Woman" had initially been approved for screening by a censorship commission, the ministry of economy and trade lodged a complaint before the Ministry of Interior decided that the show could not go ahead.

Lebanon is the first but not the only Middle Eastern or Arab country to ban the blockbuster. Tunisia has taken a similar step following a decision by the Ministry of Culture while Jordan and Algeria are thought to be considering a ban.

The Arab League, the official body for Arab countries, has previously adapted a decision to prohibit any production in which the former Miss Israel features, although the calls have not necessarily been heeded by some Arab states.

"Wonder Woman" has taken the box office by storm, bringing more than $100 million in the US and Canada and $220 million internationally over the opening weekend, making it the biggest opening blockbuster for a female director.