'Wonder Woman' Will Be Screened in Jordan, Despite Controversy Over Israeli Actress Gal Gadot

Wonder Woman
"Wonder Woman" brought in over $100 million domestically in its first weekend in theaters. Warner Bros.

The superhero flick Wonder Woman will not be banned in Jordan after all, and is scheduled to hit theaters throughout the country within the next month.

"The film was allowed to screen in Jordanian cinemas due to a lack of legal precedent to do otherwise," Mohammed Qtaishat, the director general of the Media Commission, reportedly told Al Bawaba, a news site based in Jordan's capital city of Amman.

Qtaishet had told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that "every film has to be presented to a committee in the Communications Commission, which needs to approve its screening in theaters," the Israeli news site Ynet reported earlier this month. At the time, he said the commission had received the film and would determine according to the country's laws and standards whether it could be screened. Any cinema that screened it prior to approval from the commission, he reportedly said, would be considered in violation of the law and closed.

Related: 'Wonder Woman' faces ban in Lebanon for its Israeli star Gal Gadot

The Jordan Times reported that activists in the country took issue with the film because Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who stars in the lead role, had served in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) for two years. Israel has conscription laws that require most citizens, both men and women, to serve. Gadot was a combat instructor during the 2006 Lebanon War.

"Regardless of the message of the film—regardless of its background.... The lead character supports the killing of children and we should boycott the movie, even if it was allowed in cinemas," Ammar Jumaa told the Jordan Times. A Jordanian campaign against normalization of ties with Israel said in a statement: "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." It added that watching the film would "contribute to increasing its proceeds and supporting an actress that represents the crimes of Israel."

Both the Jordan Times and Al Bawaba pointed to a social media post from the actress in 2014 in which she expressed support for the IDF during the Gaza War. She wrote: "I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children...We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom! #weareright #freegazafromhamas #stopterror #coexistance #loveidf."

The Jordanian review of Wonder Woman came after Lebanon officially banned the film. In that country, which also borders Israel, the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel put pressure on the Ministry of Economy and Trade not to allow the film to screen because of Gadot. Lebanon, which technically is still at war with Israel, has a law forbidding direct relations with its neighbor and encourages boycotts of products made there.

"The movie has nothing to do with Israel," distributor Tony Chacra said in response to the Lebanese ban, which he called "very frustrating." He added: "They are not harming anyone by banning it...except the distributor. They are making the movie theatres lose, the employees, the Lebanese economy.... What did they get out of this?"

Wonder Woman has also since been pulled from the lineup of the Nuits du Cinéma film festival in Algiers, the capital of Algeria. One of the organizers, the film distribution company MD Cine, cited "administrative issues linked to exhibition rights." The decision also followed a petition titled Non! Pas en Algeria ("No! Not in Algeria") that was launched after the Lebanon ban was announced.

Variety reported that the film's theatrical release was also suspended in Tunisia while courts examined a lawsuit filed by the Al-Chaab Party (People's Movement Party) and the Tunisian Association of Young Lawyers. The suit called Gadot a "champion Zionist," based on the fact she had served in the Israeli and praised its actions in 2014.

Wonder Woman earned about $103 million in its opening and has raked in more than $450 million worldwide since its release, with slightly more than half of that coming from foreign grosses.

'Wonder Woman' Will Be Screened in Jordan, Despite Controversy Over Israeli Actress Gal Gadot | Culture