Gerard Butler’s fantasy film “God’s of Egypt”, which was the centre of a “whitewashing” controversy after white actors were cast in Egyptian roles, became the biggest American box office flop of 2016 following its release last week. The movie will not be released in U.K.
The $140 million film reached second place on the chart but only took a disappointing $14 million, and the dismal takings has prompted the U.K. distributor to drop its scheduled cinema release.
It has been removed from listing websites and a later date has not been given. It will now be released on DVD in the U.K., according to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.
The film, which cast white actors such as Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) as the Egyptian gods Set and Horus, as well as Brendon Thwaites (The Giver) as the Egyptian thief Bek, received online backlash after the character posters and trailer revealed that the majority of the cast was white, except for African-American actor Chadwick Boseman as the god Thoth.
A source tells the publication, “It’s a real humiliation… It was meant to be a blockbuster that would be the first in a series of films about Egyptian gods.”
The news comes just days after director Alex Proyas accused critics of giving his movie negative reviews based solely on the controversy surrounding his casting of white stars Butler and Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Egyptian gods Set and Horus, respectively – and because they were too influenced by what other critics thought.
He wrote on Facebook.com, “NOTHING CONFIRMS RAMPANT STUPIDITY FASTER… Than reading reviews of my own movies… This time of course they (critics) have bigger axes to grind – they can rip into my movie while trying to make their mainly pale a**es look so politically correct by screaming ‘white-wash!!!’ like the deranged idiots they all are.”
Proyas has previously apologised for the casting concerns, but insisted the process of choosing actors for film roles has “many complicated variables”, but he added the casting choices “should have been more diverse”.