After being banned in Lebanon and pulled from a festival in Algeria, global blockbuster “Wonder Woman” is facing a similar fate in Tunisia, where its theatrical release has been suspended ahead of its sneak premiere Wednesday evening.
The superhero movie was set to open in at least two Tunisian theaters on Thursday but was suspended following a lawsuit filed Monday by the Al-Chaab party (People’s movement party) and the Tunisian Assn. of Young Lawyers, which called “Wonder Woman’s” Israel-born lead actress Gal Gadot a “champion Zionist.” The Tunisian courthouse decided to halt the theatrical release of “Wonder Woman” while it examines the lawsuit filed by Al-Chaab party, according to local reports.
The film was subsequently removed from the local ticket-booking website tiklik.tn, which serves all Tunisian theaters. Meanwhile, the Facebook page for the sneak premiere Wednesday was also updated with a tag saying “suspendu” (“suspended”). The film was due to play in 3D, with subtitles, and had gathered 237 confirmed guests on the Facebook page.
As in Lebanon, where the film was banned May 31, the Tunisian Assn. of Young Lawyers filed a lawsuit on the grounds that Gadot had publicly praised Israel’s military actions during the 2014 war in Gaza. The group also pointed out that the actress had served in the Israeli army.
“Wonder Woman” was also pulled from a festival in Algiers, where it was supposed to open Sunday during the second edition of Nuits du Cinéma, a festival organized to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. But it was unclear whether Gadot’s background was the issue. But Amine Idjer, head of press at MD Cine, which co-organizes the Algerian festival, said the film was pulled because of “administrative issues linked to exhibition rights.”
A petition to boycott the film in Algeria called “Non! Pas en Algeria” (“No! Not in Algeria”) was launched last week after Lebanon’s ban was announced.
The film is still expected to open this week in Morocco, Egypt, and the Arab Emirates.