This interesting AP article looks at the move to grab the low-hanging fruit of giving the cash-rich Middle East their own amusement parks, and the cultural difficulties therein.
Politically sensitive characters such as Captain America could be left at home. Prayer rooms will join the list of accommodations, and menus will likely feature falafel and humus alongside pizza and hot dogs.
The piece looks specifically at the efforts by DC and Marvel to get their characters in these parks:
Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. home entertainment group, is convinced that Superman, Batman and other DC Comics characters licensed by Warner will be readily accepted by those who visit the park from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Even the bare-shouldered Wonder Woman shouldn’t raise too many eyebrows “unless we depicted her as a Muslim woman,” said Tsujihara, who is spearheading the Warner theme park in Abu Dhabi.
Even so, “we probably wouldn’t have her running around in costume around the park,” he said.
With plans to help build a $1 billion theme park in Abu Dhabi by 2011, Marvel Entertainment Inc. is downplaying Captain America, a World War II creation draped in the American flag, in favor of attractions based on popular characters such as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and X-Men — none of whom carry the same political baggage.
“One of the things that’s nice about our characters is they’re either about individuals helping people or they’re about teams of people of different types, like mutants, that band together and solve problems,” Marvel chairman David Maisel said.
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