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Gal Gadot Says Controversial ‘Cleopatra’ Will Be ‘What the World Needs to Hear Now’

The film previously generated controversy for casting the Israeli actress as an Egyptian queen.

Gal Gadot arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Gal Gadot

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The upcoming epic “Cleopatra” is moving ahead with star Gal Gadot, despite being dogged by controversy and a recent shift in the director’s chair, as “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” filmmaker Kari Skogland is now taking over for “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins. Back when the movie was first announced in December 2020, it stirred up controversy due to the fact that Gadot is an Israeli actress playing an Egyptian queen of mixed race. But without revealing too much, Gadot told InStyle Magazine (via Variety) what to expect about the movie, which she says will tell “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.”

“Cleopatra” was last brought to the screen by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with Elizabeth Taylor playing the Macedonian queen in one of the biggest box office disasters of all time in 1963.

Gadot previously defended her casting in an interview with BBC Arabic, back when the film was first announced.

“First of all, if you want to be true to the facts then Cleopatra was Macedonian,” Gadot told BBC Arabic host Sam Asi. “We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn’t there, and I was very passionate about Cleopatra.”

She added, “I have friends from across the globe, whether they’re Muslims or Christian or Catholic or atheist or Buddhist, or Jewish of course. 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.”

Gadot said at the time, “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 was most recently seen in Netflix’s “Red Notice” and also has “Wonder Woman 3” in the mix. “Cleopatra” is set up at Paramount Pictures.

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