Marvel Studios' announcement that actress Shira Haas had been cast as controversial Israeli superhero Sabra in Captain America: Brave New World (then titled New World Order) during D23 last year raised a few eyebrows, but it sounds like the character will undergo at least one key change for her MCU debut.
In the comics, Sabra, aka Ruth Bat-Seraph, is a mutant with superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, endurance, and stamina. She first appeared in the pages of The Incredible Hulk back in 1980 as a Mossad (the Israeli Secret Service) agent, but this part of her origin will reportedly be retooled.
As for Sabra's mutant heritage, MTTSH claims that she will indeed be introduced as one of the Children of the Atom. Although the word "mutant" isn't actually used, she is said to mention that she "always had her powers."
Sabra's big-screen debut was always going to be a divisive development, but the escalating conflict in Gaza has reignited some of the controversy associated with the character, who is viewed by some as a racist, anti-Palestine thug.
Even her name has stirred up a lot of ill feeling, as it calls the mind the Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982 which left hundreds of Muslim men, women and children dead.
Marvel Comics did introduce Sabra before these events, however, and the name is a slang term for a native-born Israeli Jew. Even so, it understandably serves as a grim reminder of the killings for many.
The fourth Captain America movie started shooting on March 21 at Trilith Studios, Atlanta, before moving to Washington, DC. The strikes ended up impacting several other Marvel Studios productions, but Brave New World managed to avoid any significant delays (although its release date was pushed back by a few months).
We've seen quite a few set photos do the rounds online, some of which featured members of the villainous group known as the Serpent Society. We also got a look at Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) suited-up in his new Cap costume, and Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez) sporting a fairly comic-accurate outfit as the MCU's new Falcon.
Specific plot details are still under wraps, but we may begin to learn a little more about Sam Wilson's first big-screen outing as the Sentinel of Liberty once the SAG-AFTRA strike sis resolved.