The upcoming action-fantasy Gods of Egypt won’t hit theaters until February, but the director and studio have already apologized for the film’s lack of diversity. Now, cast member Chadwick Boseman has weighed in on the controversy, saying that not only is he glad that people are discussing the issue, but he agrees with the criticism.
“I generally try to tune things like press controversy out, but some people around me told me, “Hey… you might wanna look at this,’” Boseman told GQ. “And when I originally was approached with the script, I thought this [critique] might come up, I really did. And I’m thankful that it did, because actually, I agree with it. That’s why I wanted to do it, so you would see someone of African descent playing Thoth, the father of mathematics, astronomy, the god of wisdom. … But yeah — people don’t make $140 million movies starring black and brown people.”
Boseman, though, is positioned to prove his last statement false. He will make his superhero debut as Black Panther in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, and he’ll soon become the first black superhero to star in a standalone Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Gods of Egypt weaves a tale of ancient Egyptian deities and mortals, with white actors like Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Brenton Thwaites starring in lead roles. The release of the film’s trailer and posters were met with criticism, and director Alex Proyas has since released a statement apologizing, saying: “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.”
Gods of Egypt opens Feb. 26.