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Gal Gadot Says Controversial Cleopatra Film Will ‘Change the Narrative’ of the Queen ‘Simply Being a Seductor’

Gal Gadot is moving forward with her Cleopatra movie, and she recently told Vogue Hong Kong that it will “change the narrative” about the historical figure.

“Israel borders Egypt, and I grew up with so many stories about Cleopatra, and she’s like a household name,” Gadot said. “You know, if Wonder Woman is the imaginary strong female leader, Cleopatra’s actually the real one. That’s a perfect example of a story that I wanted to tell because I started reading different books about Cleopatra, and I said, ‘Wow, that’s fascinating.’ All I ever saw in regards to Cleopatra from film was that she was this seductive woman who had an affair with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. But the truth is, there’s so much more to her.”

“This woman was so ahead of her time,” Gadot continued. “Egypt and what Egypt was back then, was still futuristic to where we are today. I can’t say much. But to me, I’m so passionate to tell her story and to bring justice to this character, and her legacy and celebrate her and her legacy. We have a beautiful script, and I cannot wait to share this story with the world and change the narrative of Cleopatra simply being a seductor.”

Gadot’s Cleopatra movie was originally supposed to be directed by her “Wonder Woman” and “Wonder Woman 1984” helmer Patty Jenkins, but she dropped out of the project and was replaced by “The Falcon and the Winter Solider” director Kari Skogland. The project was first announced in December 2020 and generated controversy due to Gadot’s casting as the Egyptian queen. The “Wonder Woman” 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.

In a December 2020 interview with BBC Arabic, Gadot defended her casting by 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 at the time. “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.”

Gadot told InStyle magazine in January 2022 that her Cleopatra movie would “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 feel like we’re telling the story the world needs to hear now,” Gadot added.

There’s currently no word on when the Cleopatra movie will move into production.

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