Gal Gadot is all set to collaborate again with director Patty Jenkins for a historical drama on Cleopatra, according to media reports. However, Gadot is an Israeli actor, and some have raised questions regarding whether she is fit to play the role.
Gadot and Jenkins have worked together on 2017's superhero film "Wonder Woman" and its upcoming sequel, "Wonder Woman 1984."
Paramount is the studio behind the Cleopatra film.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Cleopatra was Greek/Egyptian. Egypt is an Arab country. I have nothing against Gal Gadot, but this is questionable casting as she is neither and there's been tensions between Israel & Egypt for decades. They should've at least considered the backlash imo before casting her.</p>— Bart Hawke (@jerseyfunction) <a href="https://www.thedailystar.net/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://twitter.com/jerseyfunction/status/1315432319172464652?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">https://twitter.com/jerseyfunction/status/1315432319172464652?ref_src=tw...">October 11, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://www.thedailystar.net/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js">https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Laeta Kalogridis, known for writing Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" and "Alita: Battle Angel", will pen the film.
Cleopatra was the last ruler of Egypt from the Ptolemaic dynasty. She is the daughter of Ptolemy and ancestor of the leader of Alexander the Great's army. Despite her ties to Egypt, scholars have often identified Cleopatra as someone of Greek ancestry, with debates regarding some Persian and Syrian ancestry, too.
Hours after reports confirmed that she will star in the biopic, Gadot took to Instagram to share the news herself and explain that they wanted her story to be told through women's eyes. News of 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.
"It's a shame you aren't advocating for African actresses who would better fit the part. Please do better," one commented on Gadot's post on Twitter.
"Cleopatra is an Egyptian queen, last time I checked you were israeli. Tell me, how do you see yourself fit to play this role? Not your story to tell, not your role to play," another user tweeted.
Cleopatra has been portrayed on screen several times. Claudette Colbert and Elizabeth Taylor's takes are the most popular ones. Lyndsey Marshal played Cleopatra in the HBO series "Rome."