When we saw those posters, it seemed at best like a dumb joke, and at worst a tone deaf marketing move. Really, you’re going to call a movie Gods of Egypt and then have it star Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Brenton Thwaites? Well, their African-American co-star, Chadwick Boseman, is with you.
In an interview with GQ, the actor who will also be playing Black Panther in the much anticipated Captain America: Civil War, responded to why he’d want to be involved in a movie that so blatantly whitewashes Egyptian culture:
I generally try to tune things like press controversy out, but some people around me told me, “Hey… you might wanna look at this.” And when I originally was approached with the script, I thought this [critique] might come up, I really did. And I’m thankful that it did, because actually, I agree with it. That’s why I wanted to do it, so you would see someone of African descent playing Thoth, the father of mathematics, astronomy, the god of wisdom. And in the movie, I actually outnumber the other gods in the movie, literally and figuratively. It’s hard for people to know that without seeing it. But yeah—people don’t make $140 million movies starring black and brown people. [Shakes head.]
Sadly, Boseman’s got a point. Hollywood still generally believes that big budget movies demand white male stars to succeed globally. But Boseman himself could break barriers when Marvel’s Black Panther comes to theaters February 16th, 2018. The MCU’s solo superhero movies boast budgets of $140 mil and up. So, we’d expect nothing less for their first to be fronted by a hero of color, right?
Unfortunately, GQ did not ask Boseman for his thoughts on Entertainment Weekly’s embarrassing Black Panther cover.
Kristy Puchko lives in
perpetual fear that ice cream will become self-aware New York City.