Warner Brothers’ latest entry in the DC Extended Universe of superhero films, “Wonder Woman”, may be just the ticket to really get their counterpart to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe off the ground.

A far cry from the grim and dark atmosphere of “Man of Steel” and “Batman vs. Superman”, this origin story movie of the world’s most prominent superheroine has received some glowing reviews from major US critics ahead of its June 2 premiere.

Most of the praise has been focused on its lead star, Israeli actress Gal Gadot. Reviewers from Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and The Hollywood Reporter have all noted on her star power with how she fluidly blended graceful athletics and sweet innocence in her role as a superhuman Amazon.

But due to Gadot herself, the film has received a significant portion of bad reactions, in particular for the actress’ nationality both in the US and out. It’s because of this that “Wonder Woman” has been slapped with its first banning in a country where it is premiering, none other than Israel’s northern neighbor Lebanon.

Old quarrels

On Wednesday, May 31, the Ministry of Economy and Trade in Lebanon issued an official ruling to ban the showing of “Wonder Woman” in theaters across the country. This was the work of an influential Lebanese advocacy, the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel, which cited actress Gal Gadot as the main reason.

Gadot had served, as is mandatory for all citizens, in the Israeli Defense Force. She has also voiced in film-related interviews how her military experience helped her prepare for the role, something the CBSI find unacceptable.

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Israel and Lebanon have political tensions that span decades. They have no diplomatic relations, and Lebanese law strongly encourages boycotting of Israeli products and celebrities like Gadot. The hostility is so extreme that not only are Israeli citizens barred, but all foreign travelers whose passports show that they have been to Israel even once are perpetually prohibited from entering Lebanon.

Uneven enforcement

It should be noted however that “Wonder Woman” was the first film featuring Gal Gadot that was successfully boycotted in Lebanon in this manner. Her previous major films like several installments of “Fast and Furious” with Vin Diesel, and even her first appearance as Wonder Woman in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, have been successfully screened in the Israeli-phobic country. The latter was actually the third-biggest foreign film at the Lebanese box office in 2016.

The Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel stated their case against Gal Gadot on their Facebook page, noting again her mention of her military past during filming of “Wonder Woman”, and her stated support for the IDF in other interviews. But whether Lebanon allows the film to screen or not, Warner Brothers is expected to make bank with “Wonder Woman” on its main premiere stateside this coming July 2.