Following the backlash sparked by the Gods of Egypt trailer and posters, Lionsgate and director Alex Proyas apologized for the film’s lack of diversity. Selma director Ava DuVernay described their statements as an “unusual occurence worth noting” and further responded to the issue on social media.
“This kind of apology never happens — for something that happens all the time,” she tweeted. “An unusual occurence worth noting.” She continued in a separate tweet, “Gods of Egypt makes me value [J.J.] Abrams’ Star Wars choices more. Makes me cheer more for [Ryan] Coogler’s Creed. We all deserve icons in our own image.”
In a statement released Friday, Proyas said, in part, “The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse.”
The studio echoed the sentiment by stating, “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.”
Director Lexi Alexander (2008’s Punisher: War Zone) and Empire writer Eric Haywood were also among those who responded to the apology on social media.
Gods of Egypt, starring Gerard Butler (London Has Fallen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones), and Brenton Thwaites (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), will be released on Feb. 26.