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About Gal Gadot’s Cleopatra Movie

By Katy Rath
Gal Gadot’s new Cleopatra movie has been steeped in both anticipation and controversy. Here’s everything that’s known about the historical biopic.

A fair amount of Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news has been coming down the pipeline, both causing controversy and garnering a fair amount of anticipation. The famed ancient Egyptian queen has been depicted on the screen many times before but was most famously portrayed (and whitewashed) by actress Elizabeth Taylor in the eponymous 1963 historical epic. The latest actress to take up the mantle of Marc Antony’s lover was Casualty‘s Adele James in Netflix’s pseudo-docuseries Queen Cleopatra. However, it seems that the Egyptian Queen’s story has a difficult time being told on the screen without creating controversy, as the docuseries was panned by critics.

Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot announced via Twitter all the way back in 2020 that she was teaming up with filmmaker Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis to bring Cleopatra’s story back to the big screen, citing the importance of the tale being told through a woman’s eyes. Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news was relatively scant following this announcement but has since reared up again now that development is well in progress. Here’s everything that’s known about the upcoming Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie, including the cast, story, release date, and what has audiences up in arms.

The Latest Gal Gadot Cleopatra Movie News

The latest Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news saw the actress speaking up about the importance of telling the Egyptian monarch’s story in her cover issue of Vogue Hong Kong. It’s no secret that historical accounts like that of Cleopatra tend to favor men’s side of the tale, and Gadot is seeking to bring justice to the historical inaccuracies regarding the Queen that have expounded over the centuries. It’s true that Cleopatra is often painted as a femme fatale in historical discourse, and many of the accusations surrounding her character could be deemed unfair. This is what Gadot is seeking to rectify, and her full, lengthy, quote can be read below:

Israel borders Egypt, and I grew up with so many stories about Cleopatra, and she’s like a household name. You know, if Wonder Woman is the imaginary strong female leader, Cleopatra’s actually the real one. That’s a perfect example of a story that I wanted to tell because I started reading different books about Cleopatra, and I said, Wow, that’s fascinating. All I ever saw in regards to Cleopatra from film, was that she was this seductive woman who had an affair with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. But the truth is, there’s so much more to her. This woman was so ahead of her time. Egypt and what Egypt was back then, was still futuristic to where we are today. I can’t say much. But to me, I’m so passionate to tell her story and to bring justice to this character, and her legacy and celebrate her and her legacy. We have a beautiful script, and I cannot wait to share this story with the world and change the narrative of Cleopatra simply being a seductor.

The Gal Gadot Cleopatra Movie Has Been Confirmed

While there is no Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie release date yet, the film is confirmed as being in development. The first bit of Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news came from the actress herself in 2020 and the project has been stuck in development hell ever since, facing further complications when it lost director Patty Jenkins and moved from Universal Pictures to Paramount in 2022. However, Gadot confirmed that the Cleopatra script was finished (via Collider) in 2021. Regardless, Cleopatra hasn’t begun filming, despite a slew of promotional images being released.

The Gal Gadot Cleopatra Movie Cast

Unfortunately, not a ton of Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news has come out about the cast of the upcoming film. So far, the only confirmed member of the Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie cast is Gadot herself. There are a few things known, at least, about the crew involved with bringing Cleopatra’s story to the big screen. While Patty Jenkins was initially set to direct, she’s since stepped away from the helm and will serve as executive producer. Her replacement is director Keri Skogland (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier). In addition, screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) has reportedly penned the finished screenplay.

The Gal Gadot Cleopatra Movie Story & Controversies Explained

While there’s no real Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news about the actual story, it can be presumed that the film will chronicle the Queen’s place in Egyptian and Roman history as the lover of Julius Caesar, the wife of Marc Antony, and ruler of Egypt. The Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie story will start at an unknown point in the figure’s life, but will probably see her ascend the throne after the death of her father King Ptolemy XII Auletes. After marrying Roman General Marc Antony, their forces in the Civil War between Pompey and Caesar were slaughtered by the Roman Army of Octavian, and the couple died by suicide (via Britannica).

There’s no question that Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news has been met with controversy, namely, for whitewashing its main character. However, as similar controversy around the miniseries Queen Cleopatra and its Black lead (Adele James), the issue of race and adaptations of Cleopatra is not a simple one. Many were hoping that an Egyptian actress would take on the role of the Egyptian queen, however, Cleopatra’s own ancestry wasn’t Egyptian. Historically speaking, Cleopatra was a Greek woman of Macedonian ancestry, coming from a long line of Ptolemy rulers, with her reign preceding the Arab invasion of the region. There are rumors that her mother was of African ancestry, but this remains unknown. Because of this, a Black Cleopatra received backlash for erasure of the Greek Queen’s own race (in Queen Cleopatra).

While it’s no secret that Hollywood has been guilty of whitewashing various characters for years, the Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news that declares the film has been whitewashed perpetuates a harmful misunderstanding about Gadot’s own background, as she’s an Israeli actress of Ashkenazi Jew ancestry. Gadot has spoken out about the Cleopatra whitewashing controversy to BBC Arabic (via The Independent), saying, “First of all, if you want to be true to the facts then Cleopatra was Macedonian. We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn’t there, and I was very passionate about Cleopatra.”

Other Gal Gadot Cleopatra movie news sees the actress vowing to take a different approach to Cleopatra’s story than her previous iterations on the screen. Gadot told InStyle that while the historical figure would still be painted as “sexy and appealing,” greater focus would be placed on her impact and her strategic cunning. “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,” Gadot stated.

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