The planned Cleopatra movie starring Gal Gadot is slowly but surely moving forward, and the Heart of Stone star has shared a new update on the project. Back in 2020, it was announced that Gadot would play Cleopatra in a new feature film based on the historic ruler. The movie was said to reunite Gadot with Wonder Woman helmer Patty Jenkins, though it was later reported that Jenkins had left the project with Kari Skogland (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) taking over as director. Early last year, Gadot teased that the film would “celebrate” Cleopatra’s story, but no major updates have come about since.
In a new interview with Vogue Hong Kong, Gadot confirms that her Cleopatra movie is still happening. She opened up about how personal this movie is for her as someone who grew up in Israel. Gadot also describes Cleopatra as a role model and a “strong female leader” that someone can look up to, essentially a “real” version of Wonder Woman. That contributes to how excited Gadot is to take on the role of Cleopatra, as the actress explains.
“Israel borders Egypt, and I grew up with so many stories about Cleopatra, and she’s like a household name,” Gadot says. “You know, if Wonder Woman is the imaginary strong female leader, Cleopatra’s actually the real one. That’s a perfect example of a story that I wanted to tell because I started reading different books about Cleopatra, and I said, ‘Wow, that’s fascinating.'”
The New Cleopatra Movie Will Change the Narrative
Gadot is also teasing what her film will be doing differently compared to other projects that have featured Cleopatra. Gadot says that, typically, Cleopatra is portrayed as a “seductive woman who had an affair,” but the actress feels that there’s so much more to the queen than that. With much more to explore from Cleopatra’s history, Gadot believes that this movie will effectively “change the narrative” of the historical figure.
“All I ever saw in regards to Cleopatra from film, was that she was this seductive woman who had an affair with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony,” as Gadot says. “But the truth is, there’s so much more to her. This woman was so ahead of her time. Egypt and what Egypt was back then, was still futuristic to where we are today.”
She adds, “I can’t say much. But to me, I’m so passionate to tell her story and to bring justice to this character, and her legacy and celebrate her and her legacy. We have a beautiful script, and I cannot wait to share this story with the world and change the narrative of Cleopatra simply being a seductor.”
As of now, a release date still hasn’t yet been set for the Cleopatra film, but given how excited Gadot still is about the project, perhaps filming can’t be too far away. Meanwhile, Cleopatra’s story was told with a docuseries on Netflix that sparked some criticism in Egypt for depicting Cleopatra as a Black woman. When Gadot’s casting was first announced, there were also complaints of “whitewashing” from some, so perhaps, inevitably, there will always be some kind of controversy to come with a Cleopatra project.