The ‘Gods of Egypt’ Posters Are Baffling, Fabulous, Culturally Insensitive
After separate uproars were raised following studio decisions to cast a well-bronzed Jake Gyllenhaal as Middle Eastern in Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time and a comparably well-bronzed Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Aaron Paul as Egyptians in Exodus: Gods and Kings, one might imagine that Hollywood executives would get the picture and stop passing white performers off as other races. (Call it light-light-brownface, if you feel so inclined.) The people imagining that would be mistaken!
The frankly baffling posters for the upcoming epic Gods of Egypt have surfaced, with a finely-toasted cast of white actors posing as Egyptians yet again. It’s admittedly frustrating, seeing the Caucasian likes of Scotsman Gerard Butler and Dane Nikolaj Coster-Waldau racially playacting in roles that could’ve been a godsend for underexposed Middle Eastern performers. But then again, who can blame Lionsgate or director Alex Proyas? It’s not as if there are great Egyptian actors just sitting around.
The disappointing racial component aside, there’s still plenty of inexplicable nonsense to sort through in these character posters. Set for a release on February 26 of next year, the film stars Coster-Waldau as Horus, god of the sky and, judging by his sequined blue cape, Lord of the Disco. Butler joins him as antagonist Set, god of the desert and fellow cape enthusiast. But what’s the deal with his shoulder-pads? Is that a wig? Is the hair human? Was it acquired in accordance with industry regulations? So many questions.
But wait, there’s more! Brenton Thwaites appears as Bek, the thief of legend, shown here holding what appears to be a gigantic severed eyeball. Courtney Eaton joins the cast as Zaya, who is the beauty of the Nile because she is a woman, and who is also flanked by a pink background, because women love the color pink. Beauty, pink, women — everything in its place. Chadwick Boseman classes up the joint as god of wisdom Thoth, a deity presumably possessing of the ability to clone himself, and Elodie Young also appears as Hathor, goddess of love. Not pictured? Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush as sun god Ra. Perhaps he’s got some good reason to keep his name far away from this project…