Gal Gadot has confirmed she's set to portray Cleopatra and she couldn't be "more grateful".
The 35-year-old actress has already played super heroine Wonder Woman in Patty Jenkins films, 2017's Wonder Woman and the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, but now the pair are teaming up to tell the story of the ancient Egyptian ruler.
Gadot tweeted: "I love embarking on new journeys, I love the excitement of new projects, the thrill of bringing new stories to life. Cleopatra is a story I wanted to tell for a very long time. Can’t be more grateful about this A team!!"
As you might have heard I teamed up with @PattyJenks and @LKalogridis to bring the story of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, to the big screen in a way she’s never been seen before. To tell her story for the first time through women's eyes, both behind and in front of the camera. pic.twitter.com/k5eyTIfzjB— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) October 12, 2020
As per Deadline, the Paramount Pictures film is based on a script penned by Laeta Kalogridis (Altered Carbon).
Elizabeth Taylor starred in 1963's Cleopatra, which won four Oscars. The massive budget on the film almost led to 20th Century Fox going bankrupt.
The decision to cast an Israeli actress as Cleopatra turns out to be divisive, with some folks believing that an Arab would be a better choice to play the character. But writer Kalogridis pointed out on Twitter that Cleopatra is a "Macedonian Greek woman".
Incredibly excited to get the chance to tell the story of Cleopatra, my favorite Ptolemaic Pharoah and arguably the most famous Macedonian Greek woman in history.— Laeta Kalogridis (@LKalogridis) October 11, 2020
Never thought I’d have the opportunity to tell a story like this, with women who have inspired me beyond words.
Journalist Sameera Khan, however, begs to differ. She tweeted, “Which Hollywood dumbass thought it would be a good idea to cast an Israeli actress as Cleopatra (a very bland looking one) instead of a stunning Arab actress like Nadine Njeim?”
She added, “And shame on you, Gal Gadot. Your country steals Arab land & you’re stealing their movie roles... smh.”
Which Hollywood dumbass thought it would be a good idea to cast an Israeli actress as Cleopatra (a very bland looking one) instead of a stunning Arab actress like Nadine Njeim?— sameera khan (@SameeraKhan) October 11, 2020
And shame on you, Gal Gadot. Your country steals Arab land & you’re stealing their movie roles... smh. https://t.co/GY5tYEcl4K pic.twitter.com/JcrnM1RUQq
Other netizens think that Gadot is cast appropriately. One defender who goes by the handle The Moonlight Warrior wrote, “I'm going to say this once and I'm not going to say it again, Cleopatra was Greek. Yes, she was in Egyptian ruler but she was Greek with Persian and Syrian ancestry. (sic) The people who are reacting negatively that to this are uneducated and uninformed. Gal Gadot deserves this role.”
I'm going to say this once and I'm not going to say it again, Cleopatra was Greek.— The Moonlight Warrior 🌙 (@BlackMajikMan90) October 11, 2020
Yes, she was in Egyptian ruler but she was Greek with Persian and Syrian ancestry. The people who are reacting negatively that to this are uneducated and uninformed.
Gal Gadot deserves this role. pic.twitter.com/7h1oYu9ClX