The survival of mankind hangs in the balance and ancient gods of an impossibly ancient culture battle for control of the universe. That’s the premise of the swords-and-sandals-and-sorcery epic Gods of Egypt, from director Alex Proyas. The film follows a mortal named Bek (Brenton Thwaites), who finds himself forced to align with Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) when the god Set (Gerard Butler) assumes control of Egypt. Their battle spans Earth, the heavens and the Afterlife. The official trailer has been unleashed upon the world, and you can watch it here.
It’s cool sounding stuff, but, and this is a big but, there’s no way to watch this trailer without thinking about the controversy that met Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings last year. I’m not going to pass judgment on this film sight unseen, but here’s the thing: sure, given the millennia that has passed since the height of ancient Egyptian civilization, it’s difficult to know with any precision just what ancient Egyptians actually looked like. However, based on the statuary and monuments that have survived, not to mention thousands of years of other cultures commenting on them, they definitely weren’t white people with flowing, curly blond locks, and their gods were definitely not Europeans. To me, 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.
Maybe you think such controversy is overblown, or maybe you don’t. Either way, feel free to weigh in on this in comments.