wonder woman

Tunisia bans Wonder Woman film over Israeli star

TUNIS, Tunisia — A Tunisian court has banned the US film “Wonder Woman” which stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot, more than a month after it had been scheduled to open at cinemas in the Arab state, a legal source said Wednesday.

Lebanon has also banned Wonder Woman, on the grounds of a long-standing boycott of Israel.

The film was to have been screened at two venues in Tunis in early June but the showings were “suspended” following a complaint from the nationalist Al-Chaab party.

The court finally decided to impose the ban last Friday, prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti said, although the verdict was only disclosed to the media this week without a reason given for the judgement.

Al-Chaab demanded the film be banned because its leading actress, Gal Gadot, praised the Israeli military in a widely shared Facebook post during the 2014 Gaza war, sending prayers to soldiers “who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas.”

The case sparked controversy in Tunisia, with supporters of the ban calling for “no normalization” of ties with the Jewish state and others criticizing censorship.


Qatari cinemas quit airing ‘Wonder Woman’

Two Qatari movie theater chains have pulled showings of “Wonder Woman” over the weekend, apparently because the film stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

Advertising for the superhero movie disappeared from the websites of Vox Cinemas and Novo Cinemas on Friday, according to DOHA News. Both chains later confirmed that they would no longer be screening Wonder Woman at any of their theaters.

It is not clear why they had the change of heart after apparently showing the film for several weeks.

Last month, both Lebanon and Tunisia banned the movie over Gadot’s role. Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and bans Israeli products. Later that month, a prominent Palestinian movie theater in Ramallah banned the movie, citing “political reasons related to the Israeli occupation and the Israeli actress starring in the film.”

Gadot, 32, does not shy away from touting her Israeli heritage. She praised the Israeli military in a widely shared Facebook post during the 2014 Gaza war.

Wonder Woman has grossed an impressive $663 million in ticket sales since its release early last month.

The outrage over Gal Gadot’s (Feminist Kike) $300,000 paycheck for Wonder Woman, explained

Warner Bros.

Thanks to a poorly sourced news story, the power of Twitter to make something go viral, and the erotic allure of online outrage, an urban legend was born on Tuesday morning: that the $300,000 Gal Gadot was paid for her starring role in Wonder Woman was pennies compared with Henry Cavill’s alleged payment of $14 million for 2013’s Man of Steel.

It all began when Lauren Duca, a columnist at Teen Vogue, tweeted the following (now deleted) sentiment:

Duca’s tweet was retweeted more than 14,500 times and quickly drew attention to the story. And it’s easy to see why: Not only is it absolutely absurd to think that Gadot was paid 46 times less than Cavill for a better movie, but if it happened to Gadot, the insinuation is that other actresses are likely suffering from the same pay gap.

There’s only one problem: The scenario in Duca’s original tweet wasn’t true.

To be certain, there is absolutely a gender pay gap between actors and actresses in Hollywood, but Gal Gadot’s salary for Wonder Woman isn’t an example of it.

Gal Gadot was probably paid $300,000 for Wonder Woman. Cavill was probably not paid $14 million for Man of Steel.

The apparent culprit behind this false comparison is a story published by Elle that has since been updated to reflect its error. The original piece stated that Gadot was making $300,000 for Wonder Woman and that Cavill had made $14 million for Man of Steel. Elle cited a story from Variety as its source for Gadot’s salary, which in turn cited an Israeli entertainment show.

For Cavill’s salary, the Elle piece cited Forbes, which had in turn cited a website called the Richest, one of the internet’s many websites that “tell” you a celebrity’s net worth. The Richest speculates that Cavill’s net worth is $8 million, though that assessment appears to be based on only two pieces of “earnings and financial data,” both from 2013. Those two pieces of data are a $14 million salary and “box office gross” bonuses from Man of Steel, and a $23,900 Omega De Ville Hour Vision wristwatch; the site does not list any other earnings or assets whatsoever, from before Cavill worked on Man of Steel (like the payment he would have received for appearing in The Immortals and Showtime’s The Tudors) or since.

The Elle article spurred Duca’s popular tweet. And after people pointed out to Duca that the $14 million figure had come from a questionable source, she tweeted — and also later deleted — a clarification, while still making the point that Gadot’s salary is tiny compared with the worldwide box office gross that Wonder Woman will haul in:

People were far less interested in that subsequent tweet, and it was only retweeted 198 times before it was deleted.

Meanwhile, Vanity Fair reported that “a source with knowledge of studio negotiations on franchise films” said that it would be “insane” for a studio to pay Cavill that much. And Vulture reported that “Cavill made a six-figure paycheck comparable to Gadot’s for Man of Steel and that his co-star Amy Adams, a much bigger name, pulled in seven figures to play his Lois Lane.”

Vanity Fair’s and Vulture’s sources were unnamed, but both outlets are more reputable and trustworthy than the Richest.

Essentially, the point that Elle, Duca, and others were trying to make about a gender pay gap and Wonder Woman is already broken if the $14 million figure is false — no matter how noble their intentions. That point becomes even more entertainingly incorrect and ironic if Vulture’s source is right about Adams getting paid more than Cavill.

Gal Gadot was paid similarly to Chris Evans for the first Captain America movie. And she’s poised to make a lot more money in sequels.

To be clear, the gender pay gap in Hollywood is real — the Sony email hack of 2014 revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was actually paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle even though she was arguably the biggest star of the movie.

But Gadot’s contract is actually the norm for debut superhero movies: Little-known or unknown actors don’t make that much money when starring in their first superhero films.

Deadline, a well-sourced trade publication like Variety, reported in 2010 that Chris Evans was paid around $300,000 to star in Captain America: The First Avenger. And the Hollywood Reporter points out that Chris Hemsworth made $150,000 initially for appearing in Thor.

These salary numbers feel like drops in the bucket compared with what superhero movies usually rake in at the box office — Captain America: The First Avenger made $370 million worldwide and Thor made $449 million worldwideWonder Woman has already surpassed $570 million worldwide. But they also don’t include or consider things like a box office bonus, whether an actor has contractual obligations to appear in future movies, and whatever kind of deals are made for additional compensation that is dependent on the movie’s success.

What Evans and his fellow Marvel stars — most notably Robert Downey Jr. — have done in the wake of their respective successes is renegotiate their contracts. Downey famously parlayed the initial $500,000 he made for Iron Man into $50 million for his appearance in 2012’s first Avengers film.

And Gadot will have the same opportunity as she negotiates potential future Wonder Womanfilms.

According to Vanity Fair, she hasn’t signed on for the inevitable Wonder Woman sequel. Because Wonder Woman is a smashing box office success, Gadot now has an advantage in negotiating a bigger payday for herself.

Will Gal Gadot (Kike) return for ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel?

You don’t need the Lasso of Truth to figure out that the bigwigs at Warner Bros. didn’t foresee such massive box office success for “Wonder Woman,” and it might cost them.

It appears that neither the film’s star, Israeli actress Gal Gadot, nor director Patty Jenkins are currently under contract for a sequel — though The Hollywood Reporter does claim that Gadot has an option.

The good news is that we’ll be seeing the Goddess of Truth sooner than you’d expect — Gadot will be back on the silver screen this November in the upcoming “Justice League.”

But as that appears to be the final movie in a three-film contract signed in 2014 (the first two being “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and, of course, “Wonder Woman”), it looks like Gadot, along with Jenkins, will be returning to the negotiating table prior to any “Wonder Woman” part two.

Israeli actress Gal Gadot at a screening of the film 'Keeping Up With The Joneses' at The London Hotel in West Hollywood, California, October 20, 2016. (Araya Diaz/WireImage/Getty Images via JTA)

It’s not unusual for high-power studios to start new directors off with one-film deals these days, and Gadot’s trifecta was standard for an emerging actress as well. But with a $103 million domestic opening, and global box office totals currently edging past $450 million, an encore for the Amazon princess is pretty much a sure thing.

For her part, Jenkins has been up-front about how she feels about getting back into the director’s chair. In an interview with the Toronto Sun over a month before the film’s June 2 release, she was already planning Diana Prince’s next steps.

“I’m excited for her to come to America and become the Wonder Woman we are all familiar with from having grown up around her as an American superhero,” she told the Sun. “I’d like to bring her a little farther along into the future and have a fun, exciting storyline that is its own thing.”

There is little doubt that the film wouldn’t have achieved such instantaneous blockbuster status without Gadot’s on-camera charisma, and she’s as celebrated abroad as she is at home — where she is touted as one of Israel’s best exports.

Israeli actress Gal Gadot, star of the new 'Wonder Woman' movie. (Clay Enos/DC Comics, via JTA)

Critics and audiences (except, perhaps, in Lebanon and Jordan) have enthused about the 32-year-old mother of two, who has been celebrated as a symbol of female strength. There has been a barrage of analysis on the role of feminism in the film — most of it positive.

Gadot herself says she sees Wonder Woman as a feminist – and we’re going to take her at her word. After all, the Hebrew heroine was five months pregnant when she shot the film.

In this May 27, 2017 file photo, actress Gal Gadot signs autographs and greets fans during the Latin American premiere of the film 'Wonder Woman' in Mexico City (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

While director Jenkins was excited about “Wonder Woman” from the beginning, she was somewhat less enthused with the studio’s choice of star. In an interview with Playboy she revealed that she was initially disappointed with the fact that she wasn’t able to cast the role herself. But, she acknowledged, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

“Frankly, I think they did a better job than I could have because I don’t know that I would have scoured the earth as hard to find her,” she told the magazine. “I don’t know that I would’ve looked internationally. I would have just looked for an American girl.”

Actress Gal Gadot attends the premiere of 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/AFP)

There are rumors swirling that the “Wonder Woman” director could be in the running for the Superman movie “Man of Steel 2,” but even to super fans, they seem like a bit of a stretch.

“It’s no secret that I love Superman but right now I’m just happy doing Wonder Woman,” Jenkins said during a recent Reddit AMA.

Jordan won’t ban ‘Wonder Woman’ after all

(JTA) — Jordan decided not to ban the film “Wonder Woman” from the country’s movie theaters.

“The film was allowed to screen in Jordanian cinemas due to a lack of legal precedent to do otherwise, as outlined by Regulation No. 63 of 2004, on the Clearance and Control of Audiovisual Works,” Mohammed Qtaishat, director general of the Communications Commission, told Al Bawaba, an Amman-based news website.

The movie will be rolled out throughout Jordan over the next month, according to the report.

But at least one movie theater in Amman has apologized for showing the movie and canceled future screenings over the fact that the star, Gal Gadot, is Jewish, The Times of Israel reported.

Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement in 1994.

The Jordanian commission’s review of the “Wonder Woman” came after Lebanon banned the film as part of its boycott of all things Israeli. Lebanon remains technically at war with Israel.

A Tunisian court last week banned the screening of the film while the country’s cultural review commission decides whether or not the movie should be permanently banned over Gadot’s Israeli military service.

Gadot, 32, does not shy away from touting her Israeli heritage. She praised the Israeli military in a widely shared Facebook post during the 2014 Gaza War. She served in the Israeli army as a combat instructor during the 2006 Lebanon War.

Tunisian court bans showing of ‘Wonder Woman’ over Gal Gadot’s IDF service

(JTA) — A Tunisian court has banned the showing of “Wonder Woman” because star actress Gal Gadot served in the Israel Defense Forces.

Tunisia joins Lebanon, which banned the screening of the film as part of its ban on all Israeli products. Jordan also is considering a ban on the film due to Gadot’s Israeli military service, and has temporarily banned screening until its culture review committee makes a final decision.

The Tunisian court ruled last week that the screening of the film should be temporarily banned, pending a final decision. It was responding to a petition filed by the secular People’s Movement Party, which called Gadot was “a partner to the latest Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip.”

The Tunisian Ministry of Culture had initially planned to allow the movie to be screened.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian movie theater in Ramallah, Palestine Towers Cinema, has decided not to show the movie for “political reasons related to the Israeli occupation and the Israeli actress starring the film,” the Times of Israel reported, citing local Ramallah newspaper al-Hadath.

Gadot, 32, does not shy away from touting her Israeli heritage. She praised the Israeli military in a widely shared Facebook post during the 2014 Gaza War.


Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. (photo credit:FACEBOOK)

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 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, 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 Cinema, 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.

How the Jewish identity of ‘Wonder Woman’s’ star is causing a stir

“Wonder Woman” has drawn all kinds of controversy over gender politics since its release last Friday, but it has also put the spotlight on Jewish debates over race and nationality. The star of the film, Gal Gadot, who speaks English with an Israeli accent, has become an Israeli star and generated buzz both here and abroad.

Ahead of the film’s international release, Lebanon banned the film because of Gadot, who, like most Israeli citizens, served a mandatory two-year stint in the Israeli Defense Forces as a combat trainer. (Jordan is also reportedly considering a ban on the film.)

In 2014, Gadot posted on Facebook support of the Israeli army’s actions in Gaza while lighting candles with her daughter and writing “Shabbat Shalom,” the common greeting Jews say to one another on the Sabbath.

Gadot, whose grandfather survived Auschwitz, was born and raised in Rosh Haayin in Israel and was Miss Israel at age 18. In an interview with ABC, Gadot joked that being pregnant as Wonder Woman (she did some shoots when she was five months pregnant) was harder than being in the Israeli army.

Gadot’s role in the film, which grossed $103.3 million domestically and $228.3 million worldwide in its debut, has also resurfaced a debate this week among American Jews over race. In a piece at comicbook.com, Matthew Mueller argued that Gadot was the first woman of color to appear in the superhero genre.

“Gal Gadot is not actually Caucasian, but is in fact Israeli,” Mueller wrote. Looking white doesn’t mean you are white, Mueller writes, pointing to a column this year from the Times of Israel that said, “conceptualizing Jews as either ‘white’ or just a religion,’ as many of our detractors are wont to do, helps to perpetuate a culture of antisemitism on the anti-racist left.”

The debate “Are Jews white?” has seen a resurgence since the presidential election last year and was resurrected surrounding the release of “Wonder Woman.” The Forward, a weekly Jewish newspaper, published a series of articles on the question:

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman Is White — Let’s Not Pretend Otherwise.

Are Gal Gadot And Other Ashkenazi Jews White? The Answer Is Complicated…And Insidious.

Why Do White People Get Mad When We Call ‘Wonder Woman’ White?

There is a historic range of Jewish subgroups, including Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi, Ethiopian and more, which raises the question, “So, is Gal Gadot white?” asks Joel Finkelstein in the Forward. “Is she North African/Middle Eastern and Israeli and Jewish and European and white? Is she all six of these things? Or perhaps something else? Who decides whether Jews are white, and what forces guides those decisions? The ambiguity of Jewish ethnicity serves as a perverse weapon in hands hostile to Jewish identity.”

Mark Tseng-Putterman, who is Asian American and Jewish, says the argument that all Jews are people of color by default is out of touch with race in North America, where race was constructed as an outgrowth of slavery and genocide.

“In the context of American institutions that produce race (namely slavery and genocide), European Jews were firmly positioned as white and were able to systematically benefit from these institutions,” he said.

Arguing that Jews are a “race” and a nonwhite race, he said, threatens to ignore the racial diversity within the Jewish community. “Those making claims about Jewish genetics also fail to grasp that ‘race’ is not a biological category but one socially constructed by political and legal institutions,” Tseng-Putterman said.

When European Jews began to immigrate to the United States, they were legally considered white while they were barred from activity in U.S. public life. Over time, they assimilated and the question over race grew complicated, Emma Green wrote for the Atlantic late last year.

“Jews think about questions of race in their own lives with incredible diversity,” Green wrote. “There are many different kinds of Jews: Orthodox, secular, Reform; Jews by birth, Jews by choice, Jews by conversion. Some Jews who aren’t particularly religious may identify as white, but others may feel that their Jewishness is specifically linked to their ethnic inheritance.”

Gadot’s identity has been noted across Jewish media, including the Jewish Journal, which examined the Jewish essence of her character.

“It isn’t just a triumph for women that the new savior of the world is female; it is a triumph for the Jews,” Danielle Berrin wrote. Although the film is set during World War I, she noted the character’s origins fighting Nazis in World War II. Fighting Hitler, Berrin wrote, is in the character’s DNA.

Gadot defies some of the stereotypes of women, especially as many Jewish women were portrayed on film as unattractive or the funny sidekick, said Emily Shire, politics editor at Bustle.

“It’s a landmark film for women for so many reasons, and this takes it to another level,” Shire said. “There is a history of Jews making movies and Jews loving movies, but who was on screen?”

“Wonder Woman” follows a long line of Jewish ties to comic book characters. Many superheroes were created by Jews, according to Haaretz, including Superman, Captain America, Batman, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Ironman, the X-Men, Thor and the Avengers. Since daily newspapers in the 1930s would not accept illustrations by Jews, Haaretz reports, many Jews found a home in comic book publishing.

“Could Gal Gadot become the biggest Israeli superstar ever?” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency asked, noting that actress Natalie Portman was born in Israel but left at age 2.

Gadot has talked openly about her love of Israeli characteristics. “In Israel, people have chutzpah,” she said in a Marie Claire cover story. “People take issue with it, but I’d rather have that than play games. Here, everyone’s like, ‘We love you; you’re so wonderful.’ I prefer to know the truth, not waste time.”

About 70 percent of American Jews say they are emotionally very attached to Israel, according to the Pew Research Center. However, older Jews are more likely than younger Jews to see caring about Israel as an essential part of what being Jewish means to them. More than half of Jews 65 and older say caring about Israel is essential for their Jewish identity, while 32 percent of Jewish adults under 30 say the same thing.

While they share a Jewish identity, American Jews and Israeli Jews have many cultural differences, said Dan Lainer-Vos, a sociology professor at University of California at Los Angeles, who is Israeli.

“American Jews integrate themselves remarkably successfully and they don’t think of themselves as a separate tribe that is somehow chosen,” he said.

Israelis are perceived to be tougher or “macho” because they have a mandatory military service. “Israeli women have an element of being exotic,” he said. “There’s a reverence or admiration toward them.”

People will politicize anything connected to Israel, said Deborah Lauter, Anti-Defamation League’s senior vice president of policy and programs, but the timing of the film comes during the anniversary of Israel’s Six-Day War, which tripled the land under Israeli control.

“Anti-Semites will exploit a current event like this,” she said. “They latch onto the popular trend and try to gain legitimacy by talking about it.”

Some people who want to support the film were conflicted because of Gadot’s casting, Amal Matan wrote on Medium’s NerdyPOC blog.

Gadot raised the issue of “intersectionality,” which refers to a call for diversity and inclusion when working for human rights. Intersectionality focuses on how overlapping identities, such as race, class, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation, affect the way people face discrimination.

“So where does that leave Wonder Woman fans, intersectional feminists and those in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle?” Matan said. “As the world will see the movie, there will be a solid chunk of individuals who will choose not to support Gal Gadot.”

The film comes just months after the Women’s March highlighted issues related to human rights and put feminism under the spotlight. Tension between supporters of Israel and the Women’s March surfaced after one of the movement’s co-chairs, Linda Sarsour, who is a Palestinian activist, argued that feminists could not also be pro-Israel.

“It just doesn’t make any sense for someone to say, ‘Is there room for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it in the movement?’” Sarsour told the Nation. “There can’t be in feminism. You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it.”

“Wonder Woman” resurfaced debates over Jews and intersectionality, said Yair Rosenberg, senior writer for Tablet Magazine. Jews have been the only white people white supremacists target, but Jews are seen as white privileged and part of the problem, he said.

“Everyone who has preconceived views about Israelis will project them onto the film,” he said. “People will use this to hang their hat on certain issues.”

Jordan considering banning ‘Wonder Woman’ over Israeli star

Jordan is considering banning the film “Wonder Woman” because star Gal Gadot served in the Israel Defense Forces.

Jordan’s Communications Commission is currently reviewing the film to determine whether it meets the country’s standards and laws, the Israeli news website Ynet reported.

The review comes in the wake of Lebanon’s decision to ban the film as part of its total boycott of all things Israeli. Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and bans Israeli products.

“We remind the Jordanians of their obligation to boycott the film, and we refuse to be partners to the crimes of the Zionists and to increase their profits from this film. The Arab audience will not be involved in projects that represent Zionism and the Israeli army,” said a statement from one of the Jordanian campaigns against normalization with Israel, according to Ynet.

Israel and Jordan signed a peace agreement in 1994.

Gadot, 32, does not shy away from touting her Israeli heritage. She praised the Israeli military in a widely shared Facebook post during the 2014 Gaza War.

The film, which opened in the United States on Friday, took in an estimated $103.1 million over the weekend and $223 million worldwide.

Lebanon wants to ban ‘Wonder Woman’ because of its Israeli star



Lebanon’s ministry of economy is seeking to ban the 2017 Wonder Woman movie because its lead actress — Gal Gadot — is an Israeli, though a formal request for a ban has not yet been received, a Lebanese security official said Tuesday.

A ban would require a recommendation from a six-ministry-member committee, a process that also has not yet began, the official said.

Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade Alain Hakim said that the country has put in place the necessary steps to prevent the movie from being shown in Lebanese theaters, the country’s National News Agency reported Monday.

An advance premier of the movie is scheduled for Wednesday in at least one cinema in Beirut, which offers its members attending the show free popcorn. Posters of the movie and digital billboards have sprouted up around the Lebanese capital.

A boycott group, called Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon, has campaigned against showing the movie in Lebanon. The campaign on its Facebook page praised the ministry’s call, saying it is advocating a ban because Gadot was a soldier in the Israeli army, and has expressed support for Israeli soldiers fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In a widely shared posting on her Facebook page, Gadot praised Israel’s military during the 2014 Israel-Hamas war, sending prayers to Israeli soldiers “who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas.”

A man walks past a poster promoting the movie, Wonder Woman, at a cinema in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, May 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and has a decades-old law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling or having contacts with Israelis.

Officials at the Lebanese economy ministry were not immediately available for comment. The security official said banning a movie would be something that would ultimately come from the country’s interior minister, following a recommendation from the ministry committee.

Even though Lebanon enjoys a greater margin of freedom of expression than other countries in the region, prior censorship remains in place, particularly with content relating to Israel, religion and homosexuality.

Reflecting tightening of censorship, an Egyptian movie about a celebrity Muslim cleric, Mawlana, and a Lebanese movie, Beach House, about friends discussing their identities were banned in Lebanon earlier this year.

Israeli actress Gal Gadot, star of the new 'Wonder Woman' movie. (Clay Enos/DC Comics, via JTA)

Mawlana was later shown after cuts were made, said one cinema manager, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing controversy. The two movies were approved in Egypt.

There is no clear mechanism for appeal of a ban on art work and public campaigns often are the only means to protest a ban. Religious institutions also have a say in art work with religious references.

Despite the controversy in Lebanon, Wonder Woman is set to open as scheduled during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan across theaters in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait on Thursday. It is scheduled for release June 22 in Oman and June 29 in Bahrain.

The movie is based on the DC Comics character, Wonder Woman. It has earned Gadot acclaim, as a rare leading female role.

The Israeli actress appeared in the Fast and Furious movies, none of which were banned in Lebanon. A former Miss Israel, she served the mandatory two-year military service in Israel, before starting her acting career and was cast in a series of Hollywood movies and shows, before landing the role of Wonder Woman in last year’s Batman v Superman.

That is when the campaign against her movies in Lebanon began, as the same campaigners sought to bar Batman v Superman, which was shown in Lebanese theaters.

Ahead of the movie’s debut on Thursday, June 1, in Israeli theaters and on June 2 in the US, Gadot has made a number of appearances on US talk shows to promote the film and on Thursday attended the premiere in Hollywood.