'It dehumanises us': Wonder Woman 1984 misrepresented Egypt, says Moon Knight director
Egyptian native Mohamed Diab, who helms Marvel's new series, explains why he felt Gal Gadot’s blockbuster sequel was a distasteful representation of his homeland.
Moon Knight’s head director Mohamed Diab has slammed Wonder Woman 1984 for its inauthentic portrayal of Egypt, which he called a "disgrace".
In an interview with SFX magazine, the Egyptian director explained his efforts at making sure there is more accurate representation of his native homeland in Hollywood.
“I remember seeing Wonder Woman 1984 and there was a big sequence in Egypt and it was a disgrace for us,” said Diab. “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.”
In fact, the way Hollywood constantly portrays Egypt, was a huge part of Diab's pitch to Marvel for the Moon Knight series.
“In my pitch, there was a big part about Egypt, and how inauthentically it has been portrayed throughout Hollywood’s history. It’s always exotic – we call it orientalism,” he explained. “It dehumanizes us. We are always naked, we are always sexy, we are always bad, we are always over the top.”
According to a report on film website Screenrant.com, Diab has been always been outspoken about issues involving Egyptian society both in his work and during interviews, even prior to his Wonder Woman 1984 critique.
Just a few days before his comments, Diab criticised another DC movie – Black Adam – for being set in a fictional Middle Eastern country, Kahndaq, and for casting non-Egyptian actors when the movie and comics are clearly based on the country's culture.
Many in the industry feel this makes him a good choice to helm the Moon Knight series, with the concerted effort to respect and honour ancient Egyptian tradition and lore.
“There was definitely room to play (in Moon Knight) but keep it as authentic as possible, in the realm of being fantastical,” said Diab. "Even in the original comic books, they did a great job of researching and trying to make Egypt authentic.”
Moon Knight premieres on Disney+ on Mar 30.