Both Marvel’s Moon Knight & DC’s Black Adam lean heavily on Egyptian mythology, but Mohamed Diab says the latter has wasted an cultural opportunity.
There are very few movies or TV shows released without issues about inclusion or representation being raised for one reason or another. Whether it is the whitewashing claims of movies like The Great Wall or how certain races and groups are depicted in various Hollywood offerings, there is no one who believes that it is easy making movies without coming across many pitfalls on the way. The latest movie to come under fire is DC’s upcoming Black Adama film that has a deep connection to Egyptian mythology, which has been heavily criticized by Moon Knight director Mohamed Diab, who has called out the lack of representation of Egypt and its culture in the superhero movie.
While Black Adam is yet to be released, being on the movies recently delayed by Warner Bros., a new interview by Egyptian-born Diab, which was translated by The Directsees the filmmaker expressing his disappointment at Black Adam for not taking some initiative with the source material to really bring out the culture and history of the country. In the interview, as well as emphasizing how he wanted to make sure that Moon Knight was representative of his home country in as many ways as possible, he said of Black Adam:
“I was really annoyed with DC when they set Black Adam in a fictional middle eastern country as an excuse to cast non-Egyptians, when it was obviously meant to be in Egypt. Representation opportunities shouldn’t be wasted… But it’s not a full mistake since it’s based on an iteration of the comics that doesn’t mention Egypt.”
Moon Knight Fully Immerses Itself in the Culture of its Lead Character
While Black Adam may have chosen to follow the source material closely and not brought the movie to a fully formed cultural depiction of the country it could have embraced, Moon Knight has gone to the opposite extreme of fully immersing itself in its setting in a way that brings to life a fully authentic TV show.
As the landscape of movies and TV shows changed at pace, the number of culturally diverse characters and stories is growing massively, making the minority in some cases becoming the majority in movies like Black Pantherand Marvel’s upcoming list of new characters entering the MCU see the likes of Ms. Marvel‘s Kamala Khan and Doctor Strange 2‘s America Chavez establishing central characters who are not of a majority group.
Moon Knight is one of that new wave of shows that has its core based in the mythology of a different culture, and it makes sure that it incorporates it fully into the story. In discussing his view of working on Moon KnightDiab said, “I wanted to showcase Egyptian talents as much as I could. Every culture should be represented by its people so I hired actors, an editor, a costume designer, an art director & a composer who are all Egyptian.”
Moon Knight makes its debut on Disney + March 30th, while Black Adam arrives in theaters on October 21st.
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