Moon Knight director Mohamed Diab has called the depiction of Egypt in Wonder Woman 1984 “a disgrace”.
The filmmaker, from Egypt himself, pointed to the scene in which Diana and Steve visit Cairo, and discussed his own take on ancient Egyptian mythology in the forthcoming Disney+ series.
“In my pitch, there was a big part about Egypt, and how inauthentically it has been portrayed throughout Hollywood’s history,” he told SFX Magazine.
“It’s always exotic – we call it orientalism. It dehumanises us. We are always naked, we are always sexy, we are always bad, we are always over the top.”
Speaking about Wonder Woman 1984 specifically, Diab went on: “You never see Cairo. 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.”
The filmmaker went on to discuss his take in Moon Knight, saying: “There was definitely room to play but keep it as authentic as possible, in the realm of being fantastical. Even in the original comic books they did a great job of researching and trying to make Egypt authentic.”
“It’s funny, because afterwards [Feige] told me they didn’t know what the hell I was doing,” the actor said. “And they weren’t sure it was going to work at all. But you know, in the end I’m glad we did that, because everyone says it kind of makes the show.”
Moon Knight premieres on Disney+ on March 30.