Gal Gadot’s Controversial Biopic Still In The Works Despite Outrage?

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Gal Gadot as Cleopatra

Right now, Gal Gadot isn’t having the greatest time in Hollywood: despite her making plenty of noise that James Gunn would be bringing her back for a third Wonder Woman film, sources with close knowledge of Warner Bros. productions have claimed that a third Amazonian outing isn’t in the cards.

Fortunately, it looks like Gal Gadot caught a break in the most unexpected way recently. Despite controversy over alleged whitewashing in her getting cast in the central role, producer Charles Roven confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Gal Gadot’s Cleopatra biopic is still in production.

The controversial Gal Gadot biopic Cleopatra is still happeneing despite the uproar over her casting.

If you’re not too familiar with Roven’s name, he’s a longtime filmmaking partner to legendary director Christopher Nolan. Before working together on the explosive summer hit Oppenheimer, this producer/director duo helped to bring Christian Bale’s Dark Knight trilogy of films to life. Roven is basically at the center of Hollywood, and his confirmation that Gal Gadot’s Cleopatra biopic is still in production carries some major weight.

And part of what made this confirmation so shocking is that the film has been receiving major criticism from moviegoers and historians ever since it was announced that Gal Gadot would be playing Cleopatra.

Gal Gadot in Netflix’s Heart of Stone

These critics have accused producers of engaging in whitewashing by casting Gal Gadot in a role that, given the history of this real-life person, should actually be played by a more prominently Middle Eastern woman. This is a Hollywood problem that goes back to classic films such as Lawrence of Arabia, but considering that Gadot actually is Middle Eastern, these whitewashing allegations can only carry so much weight.

Cultural criticisms aside, Gal Gadot’s Cleopatra was previously facing what was arguably a bigger problem: uncertainty over who would be directing.

Cultural criticisms aside, Gal Gadot’s Cleopatra was previously facing what was arguably a bigger problem: uncertainty over who would be directing. Originally, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was going to serve as the film’s director, and she was replaced by Kari Skogland, best known to Marvel fans for her work on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

Jenkins remains attached to the film as a director, and Roven confirmed that Skogland is still set to direct the movie (a definite relief for fans that thought a third person might now be in the big chair).

gal gadot
Gal Gadot in Death on the Nile

Once Gal Gadot’s Cleopatra biopic comes out, it may serve as a prominent example of a movie that managed to escape development hell. The film was announced back in October 2020, and behind-the-scenes shakeups like changing directors kept delaying it. Somewhat ironically, it sounds like the production of the film was beginning to make more headway, but the current writer’s strike and actor’s strike have once again delayed a film that was first announced nearly three years ago.

Gal Gadot has struggled to be the face of a new franchise since she left the DCEU, and it looks like Cleopatra may not be the answer.

We can only imagine that Gal Gadot is hoping that her Cleopatra biopic will give her career a real shot in the arm: the end of the DCEU meant the end of her most prominent film appearances, and like Henry Cavill before her, she has struggled to find a franchise iconic as the one she had before.

It’s possible that Cleopatra will remind audiences what great range Gadot has, which might lead to her getting cast in more major films. If that never happens, Gadot’s career might become as invisible as Wonder Woman’s jet, and that would be a complete waste of a gifted and versatile actor.