When Ridley Scott took heat for the milky white casting of Exodus: Gods and Kings, his response was to basically brush it off and blame the needs of making a big-budget Hollywood feature. It didn't endear him to many people, let's just say. So now after the diversity-deprived and sorta bizarre trailer for Alex Proyas' Gods of Egypt, the director and Lionsgate are taking a different approach. They're actually acknowledging the mistakes and apologizing for it. Wha!?
Here's the official statement they made to Forbes
Alex Proyas: “The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.”
Lionsgate: ”We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better.”
This is unprecedented to have a director and major studio apologizing for the mistakes they've made months before the film even opens. How will this impact the marketing going forward? Will they decide to put an emphasis on Chadwick Boseman rather than Gerard Butler and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau? Proyas is right that casting a movie is difficult and oftentimes based on landing A-list stars that can appeal to a broad demographic. But this is Gods of Egypt and it was never going to be a film driven by star power, so they should have done a better job making it as authentic as possible, at least on the casting side of things.
Gods of Egypt opens next year on February 26th.