Marvel Cinematic Universe has announced that Israeli superhero Sabra is going to make a comeback in the fourth installment of Captain America, Captain America: New World Order, at the D23 expo.
Sabra's character is played by the Unorthodox Emmy nominee Shira Haas, and has become a point of discord because of its political connotations with the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
In the comics, Sabra plays Mossad's agent and she first made an appearance in the 1980s The Incredible Hulk.
According to Variety, Marvel has confirmed that it is taking a "new approach" with Sabra's character for the big screen.
The Marvel studio stated, "While our characters and stories are inspired by the comics, they are always freshly imagined for the screen and today’s audience, and the filmmakers are taking a new approach with the character Sabra who was first introduced in the comics over 40 years ago."
The Institute for Middle East Understanding, a U.S.-based pro-Palestinian organization, lambasted Sabra's character for "glorifying the Israeli army and police."
The character name for the Israeli superhero has itself become controversial as The Times reports, "To Israeli Jews, a Sabra can simply be a person born in Israel. But Sabra is also the name of a refugee camp in Lebanon where a Christian militia massacred hundreds of Palestinians while Israeli troops stood by 40 years ago."
CNN, on the other hand, has noted that while Sabra's character has often fought Arab stereotypes, it has also elevated the concerns of Palestinians of the character becoming a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on screen.
Since Marvel has a lot of representation on screen, it always brings in cultural consultants to make sure that it does not support harmful stereotypes.
Captain America: New World Order will star Shira Haas with Anthony Mackie as the title hero. Disney has set the movie to release on May 3, 2024.