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Gal Gadot Faces Backlash over Casting as "Cleopatra"

Mon 12 Oct 2020 | 03:01 PM
Yara Sameh

The “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot is set to play Cleopatra in a new historical drama about legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last pharaoh in ancient Egyptian history and the last ruler of the Ptolemy line.

The film is set to be directed by Patty Jenkins, who collaborated with Gadot on 2017's superhero film "Wonder Woman" and its upcoming sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984”.

"Cleopatra" is scripted by Laeta Klogridis, who has written screenplays for films such as "Shutter Island" and "Alita: Battle Angel".

Paramount Pictures is the studio behind the film.

The Egyptian queen has been portrayed several times on the screen, in which Claudette Colbert and Elizabeth Taylor's takes are the most popular ones. Lyndsey Marshal played Cleopatra in the HBO series "Rome."

Multiple Hollywood studios have struggled to produce Cleopatra-related projects for a few years now. Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga were at one point rumored to star in a film based on the historical figure.

Gadot took to Instagram on Sunday to confirm the news, saying: I love embarking on new journeys, I love the excitement of new projects, the thrill of bringing new stories to life. Cleopatra is a story I wanted to tell for a very long time. Can’t be more excited and grateful about this A-team!! @paramountpics #PattyJenkins @jaronvarsano #LaetaKalogridis @pilotwavemotionpictures @atlasentertainment,".

She noted in a new post that the film would tell Cleopatra's story through women's eyes for the first time, both behind and in front of the camera.

Gadot's casting sparked an online debate over the Egyptian queen's race and skin colour, with some Twitter users insisting that an African actor should play Cleopatra in the upcoming film.