Lionsgate has released the first trailer for Gods of Egypt, giving moviegoers their first look at the expansive fantasy universe the filmmakers have created. The movie stars Gerard Butler as Set, the god of darkness, who has taken over Egypt and enslaved its people.
Set ascended to the throne by defeating another god, Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), in what the clip above reveals to be a very brutal fashion. The Gods of Egypt trailer also introduces use to one Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a young human who is brave and crazy enough to embark on a dangerous quest to free Egypt--and possibly save all of mankind.
Along with help from the beautiful Zaya (Courtney Eaton) and Hathor (Elodie Yung), the goddess of love, Bek hopes that his journey to restore at least one of Horus' eyes will help in defeating Set. As the official description of the film explains:
"Bek, a bold and defiant mortal, enlists the aid of powerful god Horus in an unlikely alliance against the evil overlord. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen take them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the spectacular final confrontation."
Gods of Egypt also stars Chadwick Boseman (42), Rufus Sewell (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), and Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as Ra. The script has been penned by writing duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter), and will be directed by Alex Proyas (I,Robot). Proyas has described the story as being more fantasy than history, but "authentic to Egyptian myth."
The exceedingly bright Gods of Egypt character posters left many wondering if the film would have the same fluorescent, stylized appearance as the artwork. Though Proyas is well known for more stark, atmospheric films like The Crow and Dark City, the trailer shows his latest work is a lot more giddy and garish. The effects are crisp but have an unrealistic video game quality, and seeing an armored-up Butler in this cheesy environment feels a bit like 300 by way of Percy Jackson.
For film fans already upset over a story about Egyptian gods employing mostly white actors with British accents, this trailer probably won't improve their opinion of the project. Those simply hoping for a silly, The Mummy-like action adventure could be entertained by battling warriors, beautiful goddesses, and giant flying snakes. Lionsgate no doubt hopes the curiosity of seeing the men we know as Leonidas and Jaime Lannister battling with supernatural powers will be enough to lure people to the theater this winter.
Gods of Egypt opens in U.S. theaters on February 26th, 2016.