Alex Proyas is a pretty interesting director and I’ve enjoyed quite a few of his movies, particularly The Crow and Dark City (I didn’t mind I, Robot, despite its story having little to do with Issac Asimov’s story).
That being said, his latest project, Gods of Egypt, has me scratching my head.
In the poster above that’s Gerard Butler playing Set, the Egyptian god of Death (thankfully in the movie he at least seems to assume his jackal-headed guise at times) though if you look at the trailer virtually everyone of consequence is apparently played by a white person.
Didn’t we get enough of this bs casting with Aloha? And I am not saying that Egyptians were black–despite the fact that for a period of time the country was conquered and ruled by Nubia, who definitely WERE–though they were certainly brown-skinned, and most definitely not white (though Egypt was also conquered by the Roman Empire, and ruled for a time by the Ptolemies).
Then there’s the fact that Egypt is actually on the continent of Africa (though culturally is more Middle Eastern in nature).
And since the people weren’t white, why would they choose white people to represent their gods? It’s either indicative of a people with a massive inferiority complex, or it just doesn’t happen.
My money’s on the latter.
And I get it. Hollywood isn’t exactly known for even attempting to depict such things accurately–a few days ago I was watching an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Energy Eater, when I noticed an American Indian character played by William Smith. Smith has had a storied and fascinating career, and while he’s an American, he’s not Indian.
And speaking of Kolchak, Richard Kiel played an American Indian spirit in the episode Bad Medicine.
He is also not an American Indian (though I suspect that his size was what the producers were more interested in, and at over seven feet tall he’s got plenty of that).
What bothers me about casting like this is that I would have no issue with it at all if American Indians and African Americans were so common in movies and on television that casting white people in roles that traditionally aren’t wouldn’t make that much of a difference.
Though that’s just not the case. There are plenty of American Indian, African-American, Middle Eastern actors that could use the work AND result in a more accurate portrayal of an American Indian diablero or Egyptian deity.