Because so much of Moon Knight is rooted in Egyptian mythology, it made sense for Marvel to hire a filmmaker who could accurately represent the country and its culture when updating Marc Spector’s origin story for a modern-day audience. That’s why the studio turned to Egyptian-born director Mohamed Diab, who helmed multiple episodes of the series. But according to Diab, Wonder Woman 1984 could have benefited from a similar perspective. Wonder Woman 1984’s Egypt.
The Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman sequel was criticized for several reasons when hit theaters and HBO Max in 2020. But Diab claims that the movie also fell victim to another all-too-familiar Hollywood pratfall when its characters visited Egypt for a key action scene.
Diab recalled his issues with WW84 while speaking with SFX Magazine (via GamesRadar+). He specifically shared his frustrations with how white filmmakers have portrayed his home country over the years. And when he pursued the Moon Knight gig, he stressed the importance of authenticity.
“In my pitch, there was a big part about Egypt, and how inauthentically it has been portrayed throughout Hollywood’s history,” said Diab. “It’s always exotic – we call it orientalism. It dehumanizes us. We are always naked, we are always sexy, we are always bad, we are always over the top.”
Diab then took aim at WW84’s regressive depiction of his home country, suggesting that it reinforced a number of harmful stereotypes about the region.
“You never see Cairo,” continued Diab. “You always see Jordan shot for Cairo, Morocco shot for Cairo, sometimes Spain shot for Cairo. This really angers us. I remember seeing Wonder Woman 1984 and there was a big sequence in Egypt and it was a disgrace for us. You had a sheik – that doesn’t make any sense to us. Egypt looked like a country from the Middle Ages. It looked like the desert.”
Moon Knight will premiere on Disney+ on March 30.
Do you agree with Diab’s comments about Wonder Woman 1984? Let us know in the comment section below!
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