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Gal Gadot has been tapped to play Cleopatra, and fan reaction is split

"Wonder Woman"'s Gal Gadot will play Cleopatra in a Paramount film.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision )

Gal Gadot’s casting as Cleopatra in an upcoming Paramount film has launched a debate about the Egyptian ruler’s ancestry and whether the actress is right for the role.

The film, which will be directed by Patty Jenkins from a script by Laeta Kalogridis, was Gadot’s idea and is being billed as an epic biographical drama. The news was first revealed by Deadline.

Gadot, best known for playing Wonder Woman in two Jenkins projects (including the upcoming “Woman Woman 1984"), is of Israeli descent. She is far from the first white woman to play the role: Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor have all portrayed the historical figure in the past.

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Cleopatra was a descendant of Ptolemy I, a Macedonian Greek who established himself as king of Egypt after the death of his companion Alexander the Great. However, because her mother’s identity is unknown, Cleopatra’s ethnicity remains a mystery.

Fan reaction was mostly skeptical, with many wondering whether Cleopatra should’ve been played by an actress of color.

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