As you may recall, last week Tambay reported on the casting controversy regarding Lionsgate’s upcoming would-be epic (and obvious cross-your-fingers tentpole franchise) “The Gods of Egypt” (here).
However, with the exception of Chadwick Boseman (who, in his “don’t blink or you’ll miss him” appearance in the trailer, looks totally embarrassed, as well he should be) playing the role of Thoth The God of Wisdom, there are no other actors of color in the film. There are however a Scot bland slab of meat better known as Gerard Butler, as well as a couple of Brits, a few Aussies and a Dane, all playing Egyptians .
Not a good look.
In fact, it’s so bad a look that, thanks to the controversy the casting of the film has gotten, according to Deadline, in a unprecedented move, both the studio and the director of the film, Alex Proyas, have issued public apologies over the casting of the film, saying, basically, that they screwed up, although they couldn’t really give a reasons why.
Lionsagte, for its part, said: ”We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better.”
Proyas also released a statement saying: “The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.”
Well that was pretty nice of them. All is forgiven.
No, just kidding. Seriously this smells like CYA time if you ask me. It’s pretty obvious that the idea of casting actors more appropriate and believable as Egyptians never really crossed their minds until the controversy hit them in the face, and they realized that it could hit them where it hurts the most – at the box office.
No doubt similar controversy over the casting in Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” didn’t help the film at all here in the US., where it opened with a disappointing $65 million total (though it did gross over an additional $200 million intentionally).
Still… too little, too late. The makers of “Gods of Egypt” have made their beds, and now have to lie in them, as the old expression goes.
But let’s be honest about another thing as well: Judging from the trailer, the film looks just AWFUL. A cheap, mainly green screen, over-bloated CGI orgy, and some pretty sub-standard bargain basement CGI effects at that. Maybe it’s better that black actors were, for the most part, left out of the film. This looks like one big box office dud if you ask me.