The director of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has addressed the controversy around Karen Gillan’s costume in the movie. The Guardians of the Galaxy star plays Ruby Roundhouse – the avatar of Martha, one of the four kids who, while cleaning their school’s basement during detention, discover a vintage video game that catapults them into a virtual reality adventure. Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart play the other three avatars in the film.
Following the release of the first image from Welcome to the Jungle, a number of people questioned why Ruby’s costume needs to have her midriff on display while her co-stars’ garbs are normal safari-themed outfits. Not only does her look seem impractical given the predicament that she is in, many also feel that it objectifies her as the only lead female cast member in the film’s ensemble.
The people behind the movie have spoken out and addressed the situation a few times now. During Screen Rant’s visit to the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle set, producer Matt Tolmach had the following to offer on the topic:
“We’re all very aware of that, and without giving away what I love… Yes, there’s a very real consciousness and idea there. When all the noise came out it was like, this is exactly what we anticipated, and is very definitely spoken to in the movie… Super aware of what we were doing there, and it’s addressed in the movie.”
Director Jake Kasdan, on the other hand, says that there is much more to Ruby than just her physical appearance in Welcome to the Jungle. The filmmaker also seems confident about people changing their perspective on the character, once they get to see the actual movie:
“I mean taken on its own, I guess it’s… But I knew what we were doing, and I know what the character is. I love her character. I think it’s something I’ve never seen before in a movie, it’s one of the parts of the movie I’ve been most excited about since I signed onto it. So if anything, I was just sort of like ‘People are gonna go crazy when they get what we’re doing here,’ in a good way. They’re gonna love it.
So… you can tell what they’re looking at from a still, from a– you know what I mean? I love what she’s doing in the movie. So I wasn’t that worried about it.”
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a followup to the 1995 film Jumanji that starred Robin Williams, Kirsten Dunst, David Alan Grier, and Bonnie Hunt. However, instead of taking place in the magical board game used in the original film, this new one takes the adventure to a whole new level of gaming with an upgraded video game setting. Given this, Martha’s game avatar mining her look from the usual over-sexualized female characters that populate video games gives it more meaning – as opposed to, putting her in the costume purely for aesthetics. From there, it will be up to the people to judge whether not that’s justification enough for her costume in the film.
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