Gal Gadot Faces Backlash For Starring As Cleopatra
Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot is facing backlash after landing the role of Cleopatra in a new historical film.
Cleopatra is set to be a period biographical drama scripted by Laeta Kalogridis, and will see Gadot team up once again with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, who is on board to direct.
Gadot is said to have come up with the idea for the film, and Deadline reports the deal closed this weekend after the actor took part in a select number of Zoom pitches, accompanied by producers of the new film.
However, her casting in the lead role has become subject to debate online.
Gadot has said the film will bring Cleopatra to the big screen ‘in a way she’s never been seen before’ in an effort to ‘tell her story for the first time through women’s eyes, both behind and in front of the camera.’
Cleopatra is an Egyptian queen, the daughter of Ptolemy and ancestor of the leader of Alexander the Great’s army. Despite her ties to Egypt, scholars have often identified Cleopatra as someone of Greek ancestry, with debates regarding some Persian and Syrian ancestry, too.
Gadot is an Israeli actress, and the news of her being cast in the film has prompted mixed reactions from fans.
One Twitter user expressed their anger at the casting choice, writing:
How about they cast someone with North African blood! someone like Sofia Boutella! I’m so sick of casting white actors and Israelis as pharaohs and arab roles! Gal Gadot shouldn’t be Cleopatra.
Cleopatra was Greek/Egyptian. Egypt is an Arab country. I have nothing against Gal Gadot, but this is questionable casting as she is neither and there’s been tensions between Israel & Egypt for decades. They should’ve at least considered the backlash imo before casting her.
A third tweeted:
Guys I’m so mad at this, they’re letting Gal Gadot, an Israeli play Cleopatra AN EGYPTIAN QUEEN!! PLEASE MAKE THIS STOP
Other film fans have stuck up for Gadot, with one saying she ‘deserves’ the role and another arguing that she is going to ‘nail it’, adding: ‘haters gonna hate and whatnot’.
In spite of the critics, Gadot has expressed her excitement for the role on Twitter, where she said she’s wanted to tell the story of Cleopatra for a ‘very long time’.
I love embarking on new journeys,I love the excitement of new projects, the thrill of bringing new stories to life… Can’t be more grateful about this A team!!
Cleopatra was famously played as a seductress by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film Cleopatra, and Hollywood has long been working on efforts to tell the story of the queen once again.
Paramount Pictures won the rights to the film following an auction which reportedly saw the likes of Universal, Warner Bros., Netflix and Apple all attempting to secure the title.
No release date has been given for the Gadot-led version of the film, but it is said to have an accelerated timetable with Paramount creating an urgency to mount a big budget theatrical release film as quickly as possible.
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