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chadwick boseman.jpeg

‘Gods of Egypt’ Finally Casts a God of Egypt Who Isn’t a White Dude

By Rebecca Pahle | Industry | February 4, 2014 |

By Rebecca Pahle | Industry | February 4, 2014 |

Hollywood, we need to have a talk about all the white people in your Biblical history/Egyptian mythology movies. There are currently three in development: The one where Christian Bale is Moses and Joel Edgerton is Rameses (I am a gigantic Edgerton fan, but no), the one where Russell Crowe is Noah and Hermione is Noah’s Daughter, and director Alex Proyas’ upcoming gem Gods of Egypt. That one’s basically Clash of the Titans, but Egyptian, where a mortal hero gets involved in a brouhaha between “good” and “evil” gods, including Set, Horus, and Ra.

Who are played by Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Geoffrey Rush, respectively.

You know who doesn’t come to mind when I think “Egyptian god”? Gerard freaking Butler. Cast him as a Scottish Viking or a Scottish Spartan? Fabulous! Cast him as a Scottish Egyptian god? No, no, no, my friends. You thought 2013 was bad, with Tonto and Khan being played by white actors? 2016 is looking to be exponentially worse, with the whitewashing of entire large swathes of Egyptian mythology.

I add the qualification “entire large swathes” because, praise Ra, at least one God will be played by a person of color: Chadwick Boseman, star of the pretty dang good 42 (and I don’t just say that because Nicole Beharie, the star of my favorite currently-running show Sleepy Hollow, is in it) will be Thoth, the god of learning. Maybe he can pull Proyas aside and talk to him about how there are really relatively few opportunities afforded to actors of color compared to their white counterparts, so if he could stop taking away roles meant for POC, that would be great.

I’ll just be over here waiting for Hieroglyph, Fox’s upcoming fantasy show set in ancient Egypt. The first two actors it cast—Condola Rashad as Nefertari and Reece Ritchie as a Pharoah—are both POC. Oh, and it’s being written by Pacific Rim scribe Travis Beacham. You tried, Gods of Egypt. You tried. But I know which Egyptian mythology horse I’m backing.

Via Digital Spy

Rebecca Pahle is an Associate Editor at The Mary Sue and writes miscellaneous cinematic screeds of her very own at Cinefeels.