Avatar director James Cameron reiterated his criticism of Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman, maintaining that it wasn’t “anything groundbreaking” in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Cameron had sparked controversy in August for criticising the depiction of the titular female lead, played by Israeli actor Gal Godot. Wonder Woman is the first commercially successful standalone film to be based on a female superhero.
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” Cameron had told The Guardian in August. “She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards.”
Jenkins had responded to Cameron stating that his inability to understand her film did not surprise her: “If women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven’t come very far have we.”
Cameron maintained his stance in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, commenting on Godot’s appearance. “I mean, she was Miss Israel, and she was wearing a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting. She’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. To me, that’s not breaking ground,” he said.
He also added that he did not understand why his criticism of the film had attracted public ire. “Look, it was probably a little bit of a simplistic remark on my part, and I’m not walking it back, but I will add a little detail to it, which is: I like the fact that, sexually, she had the upper hand with the male character, which I thought was fun,” Cameron said. He pointed out that Linda Hamilton, who played the lead role in the two Terminator films he made in 1984 and 1991, wasn’t “treated like a sex object”. Hamilton’s Sarah Connor “wasn’t there to be liked or ogled, but she was central, and the audience loved her by the end of the film”.
Hamilton will reprise her role in a new Terminator movie, which is scheduled for 2019 and will be directed by Tim Miller.
Grossing over $816 million worldwide, Wonder Woman was the first studio superhero film to be directed by a woman. Jenkins will also direct the sequel, which is scheduled to be released on December 13, 2019.