Gerard Butler is standing by the 2016 fantasy epic Gods Of Egypt in which he starred as the main villain. But he clarifies that he "got the point" of the criticism of the film's predominantly white cast when it was supposed to be set in ancient Egypt.
In an interview with Yahoo Movies UK while promoting his current film, Geostorm, the actor said that the backlash may have been too much. "We had Ethiopians, we had Egyptians, we had all different actors from all over the place," he pointed out. "It was never really… They were from everywhere. So I thought that was a little too much to try and damage a movie like that. I don't know. I disagree, but I got the point."
He was also asked if in the light of actor Ed Skrein leaving his role on Hellboy because the character was meant to be Japanese-American, if given a second chance would he take on the role of Egyptian God, Set once again?
And he replied "No...Because I think that was… I understand the movement generally, but you consider our movie, also one of our leads was based on an Egyptian god who is not black."
He may be alluding to the god Osiris who is often depicted as green-skinned, but to be clear Ancient Egyptians weren't exactly black either.
Butler though did praise the diversity in his current outing Geostorm saying, "One of the main points of [Geostorm] was diverse attitudes. It's an international delegation of scientists. It's all governments from all different walks of the world, but it's everybody learning to think on the same level when it comes to higher values or bigger challenges."
Gods Of Egypt went on to flop at the box office earning only $150 million on a $140 million production budget which does not include marketing. It was also lambasted by critics, in addition to the white washing backlash. Although its director Alexander Proyas and Lionsgate Studios did apologize for the casting, it did little to quell the criticism or save its box office. Though the film may have failed for many other reasons aside from the casting controversy.
Do you think Gerard Butler has a point, was the backlash "too much"?