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October 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Controversy over whether a white actress should once again play Cleopatra in the movies was ignited again after director James Cameron told the New York Times in Monday’s editions that he has been in talks with Sony to direct a 3D Cleopatra epic that would star Angelina Jolie. While saying that he has made no decision about taking on such a project, Cameron then added, “But it sounds hot, doesn’t it? I mean, Angelina Jolie and Cleopatra? To me, that’s like a slam dunk.” Not necessarily. Another Cleopatra movie starring Elizabeth Taylor in her prime is regarded as one of Hollywood’s most devastating disasters, and last summer reports that Jolie wanted to play the role touched off an angry response that was ignited in Essence magazine by a writer who complained, “Honestly, I don’t care how full Angelina Jolie’s lips are, how many African children she adopts, or how bronzed her skin will become for the film, I firmly believe this role should have gone to a black woman.” Other writers argued, however, that such an argument is inherently racist, with one asking, “How black are Egyptians anyway and should it matter?”