It seems that biblical epics are back in. Darren Aronofsky's Noah is itching closer and closer, and the History Channel's Bible series broke records for viewership. Steven Spielberg is reportedly planning a film about the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt, and now Ridley Scott has his own film about Moses as well. Christian Bale is already confirmed to be playing Moses, but now we have an actor signed on to play Ramses. Let's just say he isn't Egyptian.
The actor is Joel Edgerton, best known for his roles in The Great Gatsby and Warrior. He's also blatantly Irish. Now, I actually take a philosophy towards race in casting that most people I talk to don't seem to: I only care about it insofar as it effects what is appearing onscreen. For example: Al Pacino in Scarface. He isn't Cuban, but he was able to play one more extremely effectively, so it didn't matter. I've never heard anyone complain about his casting in that film, so why exactly will they complain about off-race casting in movies like The Last Airbender? Don't get me wrong, The Last Airbender was awful, but the race of the cast members had nothing to do with it.
Having said that, casting Edgerton as the Pharoah might be pushing it. An actor doesn't have to be Egyptian, but they do have to look it, and I'm not sure how possible that is with Edgerton's definitievely Irish-structured face. Giving him darker skin and he'll just look like and Irishman with an impossibly dark tan. Then again, Christian doesn't look Jewish to me, so who knows how all of this will turn out?