Cleopatra movie: Gal Gadot explains why her and Patty Jenkins’ film about the Queen of Egypt will be different

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“We will bring the story of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, to the big screen in a way she’s never been seen before,” promises Gal Gadot.

It’s official: Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are joining forces once again, and this time it’s for an asp-kicking (see what we did there?) biopic about Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.

And, this time, they have Laeta Kalogridis on board to pen the script.

As in, yes, the same Kalohridis whose credits include Alexander, Shutter Island, and Alita: Battle Angel. 

Of course, Cleopatra’s story has already been turned into Hollywood film after film, the most famous of which is Elizabeth Taylor’s 1963 portrayal of the Queen of the Nile, which famously won four Oscars and was nominated for nine.

Indeed, Taylor’s portrayal is so iconic that it’s basically burned into people’s minds. 

Admit it: we say Cleopatra, you see her dark wig and heavily kohled eyeliner.

Gal Gadot with Patty Jenkins at the 2018 Critics’ Choice Awards.

As such, almost everyone seems to know the same few things about Cleopatra: that she married Julius Caeser, that she fell desperately in love with Marc Antony, and that her death was caused by a self-inflicted snake bit.

However, Gadot has promised that her portrayal of the Egyptian queen delve far deeper into the life of Ptolemy’s daughter.

That’s right: it seems the actor’s team-up with has all the makings of another much-needed female empowerment story.

“As you might have heard, I have teamed up with Patty Jenkins and Laeta Kalogridis to bring the story of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, to the big screen in a way she’s never been seen before,” Gadot wrote on Instagram.

“[We want to] tell her story for the first time through women’s eyes, both behind and in front of the camera.”

Posting her announcement on International Day of The Girl, Gadot added: “We hope women and girls all around the world, who aspire to tell stories, will never give up on their dreams and will make their voices heard, by and for other women.”

Of course, some have flagged an obvious problem with the new film: that, once again, Cleopatra is being played by a white actor.

“White washing of history continues,” tweeted one social media user angrily.

“Cleopatra will be the subject of another Hollywood epic. Playing Cleopatra will be Gal Gadot,” added another. 

“Hollywood has always cast white American actresses as the Queen of the Nile. For once, can’t they find an African actress?”

And one more said: “So confused how Gal Gadot is cast as Cleopatra what a joke. Can they at least use an Egyptian actress???”

Others, though, have countered these criticisms.

“I said it once I’ll say it again,” one persom tweeted. “CLEOPATRA WAS NOT BLACK AND GAL GADOT IS NOT WHITE!”

Another added: “The amount of miseducation in this trend is astounding. Cleopatra was of Macedonian Greek Ancestry. Please read before you tweet.”

Of course, with so many cinemas struck down by Covid-19, it’s undeniably heartening to see that Gadot and Jenkins have teamed up for yet another big theatrical project.

Especially after Jenkins vowed that “direct-to-streaming is not even being discussed” for Wonder Woman 1984. 

“We are still 100% behind the theatrical experience for #WW84 and supporting our beloved theatre business,” Jenkins tweeted.

Amen to that.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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