I groaned when I first saw Deadline’s news that a Cleopatra series was being developed.
It’s hard to imagine a Western re-telling of Cleopatra’s story that wouldn’t be a whitewashed mess or present the iconic character in the same sexist light that we’ve seen her before; but Elizabeth director Shekhar Kapur‘s vision actually sounds pretty okay.
Here’s Deadline’s description of the show:
Instead of focusing on the arch seductress made famous by her affairs with men like Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, the show will highlight the opposite — that these men were famous because of her. It will follow the narrative of an 18-year-old girl who came to be a pharaoh and a queen — a woman who was brighter, more intelligent, richer and a better administrator and ruler than the men of her time. The series will reimagine Cleopatra’s history, reinventing her as the modern woman, a woman that understood the power of myth and turned herself into a myth, constantly reinventing herself. It will highlight her great loves and her survival in the face of repeated assassination attempts, which made her one of the most dangerous, yet most powerful, thrones of all time.
Kapur will write and direct the series for Slingshot Global Media.
What do you think of this news, friends? Hollywood has a looooong history of whitewashing Egyptian historical figures (really, anyone that’s not white), so here’s hoping that Global Media’s series doesn’t follow that racist tradition. Are you optimistic about the show?
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