The recent announcement that Israeli actress Gal Gadot will be playing legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra has caused quite the stir on social media, with fans and critics drawing their own lines in the sand.
Gadot, who shot to international fame as D.C.'s iconic superhero Wonder Woman, says the Paramount Pictures biopic aims to bring Cleopatra's story "to the big screen in a way she’s never been seen before."
The movie will be directed by Patty Jenkins, who helmed the first Wonder Woman film in 2017 and its sequel set for release on Christmas Day.
While many welcomed the news of the casting, some took issue with the fact that an Israeli actress would be playing an Egyptian icon.
Among them was former journalist and beauty queen Sameera Khan, who lamented that the role had not gone to a "stunning" Arab actress instead of a "very bland looking" Israeli.
"[S]hame on you, Gal Gadot," Khan wrote on Twitter. "Your country steals Arab land & you’re stealing their movie roles."
But the movie's screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis - and many others - pointed out that Cleopatra was actually of Greek Macedonian origin.
Cleopatra was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty, which began with Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian general and a companion of Alexander the Great, who took over Egypt in 305-304 BCE.
After Wonder Woman became one of the highest-grossing superhero movies of all time, Gadot, who was crowned Miss Israel in 2004 at the age of 18, rocketed to stardom.
An ex-IDF soldier, the former model was on the Time list of top-100 most influential people in the world and was recently named the third highest-paid actress in the world.