Two superstar actresses are battling to play Cleopatra

The rumour mill is swirling about a possible new Cleopatra movie, but the internet has already summoned up the inevitable backlash which comes with casting nowadays.

Cleopatra has featured in over TWENTY movies, tv shows and animations, and has been portrayed previously by Hollywood queen Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh and Claudette Colbert.

Allegedly, a new biopic about the Egyptian ruler is in the works from Sony, with Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie as frontrunners to be considered for the role.

Elizabeth Taylor infamously played the role, and also popularised kohl eyeliner and black wigs in the meantime. Vivien Leigh and Claudette Colbert also had their chance to play her back in the day.

However, there's a serious debate over Cleopatra's ethnicity, with some Twitter users claiming a black or ethnically diverse actress deserves the chance to play the character.

Others argue that Cleopatra was of Greek and Macedonian descent, which technically means she was Caucasian… so Twitter is pretty divided to say the least.

Complex starring roles for women are still far and few between in Hollywood, meaning that this role is the chance of a lifetime for an actress.

Twitter debate about Cleopatra began as a Lady Gaga vs Angelina battle, but it was soon asked whether a white woman should play her at all.

IMDb list the new biopic as in production, with Angelina Jolie being considered since back in 2014, but Lady Gaga's newfound Hollywood fame resulted in her name being suggested.

Social media users are now mentioning women of colour in a bid to give them a deserved chance, including big names such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Priyanka Chopra, Jameela Jamil and Jennifer Lopez.

Hollywood's lengthy history of shutting out actresses and actors of colour from contention has proven problematic, I mean did anyone see Prince of Persia? Jake Gyllenhaal, you should have known better.

According to Vox, in 2009 archaeologists discovered the remains of a woman they're convinced is Princess Arsinoe, who was Cleopatra’s sister. Her remains indicated that her mother was African.

Egyptologist Sally Ann Ashton created a 3D computer animated image of Cleopatra as a brown-skinned woman using forensics.

According to Ashton: “She probably wasn’t just completely European. You’ve got to remember that her family had actually lived in Egypt for 300 years by the time she came to power.”

No one has fully confirmed her ethnicity, with some researchers maintaining that she was pure-blooded Macedonian, and others disagreeing. 

Whatever her ethnicity is, maybe at least give diverse actresses an audition? Bit of equality in Hollywood never hurt anyone…

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