Gal Gadot’s “Cleopatra” remake is moving ahead with “The Falcon and the Winter Solider” filmmaker Kari Skogland replacing Patty Jenkins as director. The project generated controversy when it was first announced in December 2020 due to Gadot’s casting as the iconic Egyptian queen. The “Wonder Woman” and “Red Notice” star is an Israeli actor playing a mixed race historical figure. The outrage mirrored the whitewashing of casting Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s eponymous 1963 film. Despite the outrage, Gadot recently told InStyle magazine that her “Cleopatra” movie will be “the story the world needs to hear now.”
“I can’t reveal a lot, but I can tell you that we’re going to celebrate the Cleopatra story,” Gadot said. “We’re going to show not just how sexy and appealing she was, but how strategic and smart, and how much impact she had and still has on the world we’re living in today. I’ve watched all the ‘Cleopatra’ movies throughout history, but I feel like we’re telling the story the world needs to hear now.”
Gadot reacted to the outrage around her casting as Cleopatra in a December 2020 interview with BBC Arabic. The actress defended accepting the role at the time, saying, “First of all, if you want to be true to the facts then Cleopatra was Macedonian. We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn’t there, and I was very passionate about Cleopatra.”
“I have friends from across the globe, whether they’re Muslims or Christian or Catholic or atheist or Buddhist, or Jewish of course,” Gadot continued. “People are people, and with me I want to celebrate the legacy of Cleopatra and honor this amazing historic icon that I admire so much…You know, anybody can make this movie and anybody can go ahead and do it. I’m very passionate that I’m going to do my own too.”
In addition to “Cleopatra,” Gadot also has “Wonder Women 3” on her upcoming docket.