Gal Gadot, renowned for her portrayal of Wonder Woman, has been chosen to take on the role of Queen Cleopatra Philopator VII in an upcoming 2025 theatrical release. A new poster release has rekindled discussions surrounding this film.
Gal Gadot aims to reshape perceptions of the iconic historical figure Cleopatra, a role famously embodied by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film of the same name. However, the decision to cast an actress of Israeli heritage as Cleopatra has sparked controversy among certain critics.
Gal Gadot’s Reflections on Her Role Reflecting on her upcoming portrayal, Gadot shared, “My upbringing was steeped in tales of Cleopatra; she’s a figure of familiarity in households.” Gadot continued, emphasizing, “While Wonder Woman embodies a fictional embodiment of strength and leadership, Cleopatra epitomizes genuine historical female leadership. Regrettably, cinematic portrayals have often confined her to being a seductive figure linked to Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. Yet, her true essence is far more profound.”
Initially slated to be directed by Patty Jenkins, known for her work on the Wonder Woman series, the film’s directorial helm has since shifted to Kari Skogland.
Controversial Casting The impending release of the Gal Gadot-led Cleopatra film has already attracted criticism from online commentators, although not yet to the extent seen with the contentious Netflix series “Queen Cleopatra.”
Historically, Cleopatra VII Philopator’s lineage traced back to Macedonian Greek origins, stemming from the Ptolemaic Dynasty ruling Egypt between 305 and 30 BC. Yet, the historical figure’s true identity remains shrouded in confusion, contributing to past controversies in casting choices for documentaries and historical fiction.
In a 2020 interview with the BBC, Gadot defended her casting, asserting, “First and foremost, Cleopatra was of Macedonian descent. We sought a Macedonian actress fitting for the role, but when none were found, my passion for Cleopatra led me to embrace the part.”
Gadot emphasized, “My friends hail from diverse backgrounds – Muslims, Christians, Catholics, atheists, Buddhists, and, of course, Jews. Unity among humanity propels me to honor Cleopatra’s legacy and celebrate this remarkable historical icon whom I deeply admire.”
Cleopatra’s Historical Significance Cleopatra VII Philopator, a prominent figure in ancient times, governed ancient Egypt from 51 to 30 BC. Revered by some and vilified by others, she marked the closing chapter of the Ptolemaic Kingdom’s history.
Originating from Macedonia in ancient Greece, the Ptolemaic lineage traced back to Ptolemy I Soter, the dynasty’s founder and a former general of Alexander the Great. Following Alexander’s demise in 323 BC, Ptolemy I solidified rule over Egypt.
As the final pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra ruled during a tumultuous period (51-30 BC), skillfully maneuvering to safeguard Egypt’s autonomy amid the complex Roman Republic landscape. Cleopatra’s associations with influential Roman leaders, beginning with Julius Caesar and later Mark Antony, played a pivotal role in preserving her status and Egypt’s interests. Yet, following the defeat at the Battle of Actium, her reign concluded, and Roman dominance ensued, signaling the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty.