London: Pop superstar Madonna has been accused of distorting history in her new film about Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson by portraying the King as an unlikely sex symbol and the late Queen Mother as a villainous plotter.
Insiders say Madonna`s depiction of the couple at the centre of the 1936 Abdication crisis in her film `WE`, her second film as a director, is overly sympathetic and largely unrecognisable, Daily Mail online reported.
The 18 million pounds film, currently being shot in Britain and France and due for release next year, intersperses Edward`s affair with an American divorcee`s life set in 1998.
In a further controversy, Madonna, 52, has included a `friendly` portrayal of Mohamed Al Fayed, who still insists the Princess of Wales and his son Dodi were murdered by the Royal establishment in 1997.
One source close to the project said, "The portrayal is so far removed from reality they`re almost unrecognisable to anyone who knows the facts. The film may work as entertainment but it certainly doesn`t work as history."
"Madonna`s Edward is a Latin lover-type, a strong-willed macho figure, more than a match for a determined and outspoken Wallis. But in reality he was rather an effeminate figure who wasn`t a great-looking man. He was always slightly in awe of Wallis," another insider said.
"You could say he has become a sort of fantasy figure for Madonna. She is a strong-willed American like Wallis and she has dreamt up the sort of man who could deal with her," the insider added.
The film`s depiction of George VI`s wife Elizabeth is also controversial. The future Queen Mother is said to be the closest thing in it to a villain, with her and her husband portrayed as plotting against the couple.
Several big names attached to the project, including Ewan McGregor and Vera Farmiga also pulled out before filming began.