An upcoming Hollywood fantasy film starring Gerard Butler and Geoffrey Rush, called Gods of Egypt, will release as Kings of Egypt in the Middle East. The change of name came from the studio Lionsgate, according to a regional distributor.
The original title of this much-anticipated Hollywood production was “Gods of Egypt,” but for the sake of the Middle East Market, the name has been slightly changed to “Kings of Egypt.”
Starring Hollywood legends Gerard Butler and Geoffrey Rush, the fantasy film’s name was changed by its maker, Lionsgate, according to a regional distributor.
— Jaguar Film JFID (@jaguarfilmintl) January 28, 2016
“It’s the same film with the same cut. Nothing has been changed in the film. It’s just releasing under a different title,” said Samy Khoury, the president of Jaguar Films. “The studio decided to release it that way. We didn’t change anything.”
Movie title with religious connotations?
No surprise that the editing took place. In 2011, Puss in Boots became Cat in Boots before releasing it in the Arab world. Dreamworks Studio made the changes.
While some thought it might have been changed for cultural or religious reasons, regional distributors dismissed the idea.
“It was agreed upon that Cat In Boots title would be more clearly understood. It is common practice to many foreign territories outside of the US to change a movie title to suit their territory better, which is what we did with Cat In Boots,” said Pamela Abou Chabki, the marketing director at Four Star Films told Gulf Newsthen.
Let’s hope Arab audiences will buy tickets to see this big-budget ($140 million to be precise) blockbuster, despite the controversy that surrounded it last year over the whitewashing of its cast.
Following the film trailer’s release in 2015, God of Egypt’s makers (Lionsgate) were heavily criticised for implying that people in Egypt were predominantly White.
Lionsgate and the film’s director Alex Proyas later issued an apology about the predominantly white cast.
Lionsgate: ”We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better.”
“The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologise to those who are offended by the decisions we made,” Proyas said in a statement. Director Ridley Scott’s biblical epic, Exodus: Gods and King, also faced similar criticisms in 2014. It did not release in the UAE.
Kings of Egypt will screen in IMAX 3D, 3D and 2D formats in the UAE on February 25, said Jaguar Films’ Khoury.