Moon Knight director says Wonder Woman 1984’s treatment of Egypt was a ‘disgrace’

‘Egypt looked like a country from the Middle Ages. It looked like the desert,’ says Mohamed Diab

Louis Chilton
Thursday 24 March 2022 05:36 GMT
Wonder Woman 1984 trailer

The director of Marvel’s forthcoming Moon Knight series has branded the depiction of Egypt in Wonder Woman 1984 as “a disgrace”.

Mohamed Diab, a screenwriter from Egypt, singled out the 2020 DC Comics sequel as an example when discussing problems with how his country is represented in American cinema.

In Wonder Woman 1984, Diana (Gal Gadot) and Steve (Chris Pine) are seen visiting Egypt, with one of the film’s major action set pieces supposedly taking place in Cairo.

Speaking to SFX Magazine, Diab addressed Moon Knight’s own take on ancient Egyptian mythology.

“In my pitch, there was a big part about Egypt, and how inauthentically it has been portrayed throughout Hollywood’s history,” he said.

“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, he said: “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.”

Gal Gadot in ‘Wonder Woman 1984' (Warner Bros)

In Moon Knight, Oscar Isaac plays Marc Spector, a man who becomes the hero known as Moon Knight after becoming a conduit for the ancient Egyptian moon god Khonshu.

Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector in ‘Moon Knight (Disney/Marvel Studios)

“[It’s] part of the show because it’s part of the comic book,” continued Diab. “It’s part of how he gets his powers. It’s ingrained in it.

“There was definitely room to play [in Moon Knight] 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.”

The Independent has contacted Warner Brothers and a representative of Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins for comment.

The series debuts on Disney Plus on 30 March.

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