During the press campaign for Gods of Egypt, the recurring controversy of the film choosing white leads was a sticking point that made some hay during its release window. Now, a year later, the subject has come up again, as Gerard Butler has been asked if he regrets ever taking the role of the film's villain, Set. In Butler's honest opinion, he isn't even interested in apologizing for the project, as the man himself stated during a recent interview for Geostorm:
No, because I think that was, it was, you know, I understand the movement generally, but you consider our movie, one of our leads was based on an Egyptian God [who] was not black.
That lead in particular was Chadwick Boseman's Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom in Alex Proyas' Gods of Egypt, who generally has the body of an Egyptian and the head of an Ibis, but who has a normal head in the movie. Gerard Butler's argument seems to stem from the fact that the actual gods of Egypt are pretty intangible and that the movie chose a diverse cast from different ethnicities and backgrounds rather than conforming to picture book standards of what the Egyptian gods looked like.
Gerard Butler also talked to Yahoo Movies a little bit more about the diversity that Gods of Egypt tried to bring in with its casting, also discussing bringing in people of different nationalities and backgrounds. He said:
We had Ethiopians [in the film], we had Egyptians [in the film], we had all different actors from all over the place that was never really, they were from everywhere. So, I thought that was a little too much to try and damage a movie like that, I disagree.
Ultimately, Gerard Butler didn't sign onto the film because he was trying to make a totally accurate period piece. If anything, judging by the man's filmography, Butler was looking to have a fun time with a role that gave him some interesting material to work with. The actor's comments indicate he doesn't think it's fair that the movie took flack when it wasn't trying to offend anyone.
Following the controversy, Gods of Egypt hit theaters back in 2016. While it made $150 million worldwide, it only hit $31 million domestically. Plus it reportedly cost a pretty hefty $140 million to make, so it's not like we're expecting Gods of Egypt 2 anytime soon. So the whole conversation about whether or not Gods of Egypt was on the right side of the line is an old debate at this point. Now, Gerard Butler is the star of a movie about weather-related incidents and space--a far cry from Ancient Egypt.