Gods of Egypt (film)
|Gods of Egypt|
|Directed by||Alex Proyas|
Gods of Egypt is an upcoming American fantasy film featuring ancient Egyptian deities. The film is directed by Alex Proyas and stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Gerard Butler, and Geoffrey Rush. Filming took place in Australia under the studio Summit Entertainment. Its parent company Lionsgate plans to release Gods of Egypt in theaters on February 26, 2016. The film will be released in 2D and RealD 3D.
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Horus
- Brenton Thwaites as Bek
- Gerard Butler as Set
- Geoffrey Rush as Ra
- Elodie Yung as Hathor
- Chadwick Boseman as Thoth
- Courtney Eaton as Zaya
- Rufus Sewell as Urshu
- Abbey Lee as Anat
Gods of Egypt is directed by Alex Proyas based on a screenplay by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. The film was produced under Summit Entertainment. Proyas contracted with Summit in May 2012 to write the screenplay with Sazama and Sharpless and to direct the film. Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was cast in June 2013. Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, and Brenton Thwaites joined the cast toward the end of 2013. Chadwick Boseman and Elodie Yung joined the cast at the start of 2014.
Proyas filmed Gods of Egypt in Australia. A crew of 200 began pre-production in Sydney in New South Wales, and producers considered filming in Melbourne in Victoria to take advantage of the state's tax incentive. Docklands Studios Melbourne was too booked to accommodate Gods of Egypt, and producers were instead offered an airport facility for production. The Australian states New South Wales and Victoria competed to be the location of the film's production, and Summit selected NSW in February 2014. The state's deputy premier Andrew Stoner estimated that the production would add 400 jobs to the state and contribute $75 million to its economy. The union Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance filed an objection with Australia's Fair Work Commission stating that the film will adopt unfair work conditions. The union contested the production being Australian enough to receive a 40% producer rebate yet importing work conditions substandard for Australia.
Filming began on March 19, 2014 at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney. The production budget was $140 million. Jon Feltheimer, the CEO of Summit's parent company Lionsgate, said Lionsgate's financial exposure was under $10 million due to tax incentives of filming in Australia as well as foreign pre-sales.
Racial and ethnic casting
White actors make up most of the principal cast of Gods of Egypt. After filming started in March 2014, Daily Life 's Ruby Hamad highlighted the casting practice of white actors as Egyptian characters as "Hollywood whitewashing". Lionsgate released a set of character posters in November 2015, and The Guardian reported that the casting received a backlash on Twitter over the predominantly white cast. Some suggested that the casting of black actor Chadwick Boseman, who plays the god Thoth, played into the Magical Negro stereotype. The previous year, the biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings by director Ridley Scott received similar backlash for having a white cast. The Washington Post 's Soraya Nadia McDonald also disparaged the casting practice for Gods of Egypt and said Lionsgate released the posters at an unfortunate time. With the release of Aziz Ansari's TV series Master of None in the previous week, "whitewashed casting and the offensiveness of brownface has pretty much dominated the pop culture conversation this week." McDonald said, "Promotion for the movie is beginning just as we’re wrapping a banner year for discussions of diversity and gender pay equity in the film industry."
When Lionsgate followed its release of posters with a release of a theatrical trailer, Scott Mendelson at Forbes commented on the casting practice as problematic, "The implication remains that white actors, even generic white actors with zero box office draw, are preferable in terms of domestic and overseas box office than culturally-specific (minority) actors who actually look like the people they are supposed to be playing." Mendelson said almost none of the actors, aside from potentially Butler, qualified as box office draws. BET's Evelyn Diaz said while Ridley Scott had defended his casting practice for Exodus by claiming the need to cast box office draws, "Gods of Egypt is headlined by character actors and Gerard Butler, none of whom will have people running to the theater on opening day." Deadline 's Ross A. Lincoln said of the released trailer, "Casting here stands out like a sore thumb leftover from 1950s Hollywood. I suspect this film generates a lot of conversation before it hits theaters February 26, 2016."
Molly Driscoll, writing for The Christian Science Monitor, said Gods of Egypt was part of popular culture's "fascination with Egypt", last visited with the 1999 film The Mummy and its sequels and spin-offs. Driscoll also identified Gods of Egypt as part of a trend of film adaptations of mythology such as the 2010 film Clash of the Titans.
Lionsgate plans to release Gods of Egypt in theaters on February 26, 2016. The film will be released in 2D and RealD 3D. Lionsgate initially scheduled the film to be released on February 12, 2016, then it postponed the release to April 8, 2016 before finalizing the date. The Christian Science Monitor 's Molly Driscoll said the film was being released in "a traditionally quiet time at the box office", though it would compete with the films Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Deadpool, both being released a couple weeks earlier.
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- McNary, Dave (April 30, 2015). "'Power Rangers' Movie Pushed Back to 2017". Variety. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Sun, Rebecca (November 9, 2015). "China's Le Vision Acquires Lionsgate's 'Gods of Egypt,' Unveils 10-Film Slate". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Official website
- Gods of Egypt at the Internet Movie Database
- Hollywood likes to pretend that ancient Egypt was full of white people at Vox