Yes, the original title of this much-anticipated Hollywood production is "Gods of Egypt," but for the sake of the Middle East, 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.
“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.”
Perhaps the change had something to do with the title's religious connotations?
But it's 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.
“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.
“The effects are mind-blowing. I have never seen anything like it,” he said.
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