Have the mighty already fallen? Lionsgate's Upcoming action-fantasy adventure Gods of Egypt has become the latest film to fall victim to the "pre-release controversy" curse that has erupted online. The film is being directed by Alex Proyas who is known for helming previous features such as I, Robot and The Crow, both of which have become cult-classics. While the trailer for the film itself may be turning heads, it has others shaking theirs at yet another film that has cast European/Caucasian actors as people who come from an adversely different ethnic background.
Here's the plot synopsis:
In this spectacular action-adventure inspired by the classic mythology of Egypt, the survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek (Brenton Thwaites) undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in an unlikely alliance against Set (Gerard Butler), the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the epic final confrontation.
In regards to the trailer, there's some good stuff and some not so good stuff. First off, the CGI in the trailer varies between decent and video-gamey multiple times throughout the whole thing. It's not clear how long was spent on actually creating and rendering the CGI creations, but there's clearly more work to be done. Second, and you probably saw this coming from a mile away, the casting. There is a held belief by a number of people that films should cast actors who best fit the time period or setting of where and when a film takes place, and that belief is still held in full by those who were appalled when they watched the trailer from beginning to end, start to finish, occasionally hitting the "pause button" while they voice their dissatisfaction to themselves before pressing "play" again.
Hollywood's issues surrounding the casting or lack of casting for "actors of color" has long been an issue that is brought up and then swallowed by the next big news about a new major motion-picture, the latest celebrity scandal,or the next tear-jerking tragedy being discussed on the local news. To be clear, the actors are not to blame, they are not the problem. While the director and the studio have both issued apologies for failing to reflect diversity, this film could still suffer a fate similar to Exodus: Gods and Kings, a film that is still regarded with disdain by many for it's casting and subversion of historical events. By the time this film arrives in theaters across the U.S. and the globe, it will be a new year, a year were people expect things to take a turn for the better. But instead, they will be greeted by yet another example of the deep-seeded problems still pervasive within the film industry.