Cinematic master James Cameron has returned to the topic of Wonder Woman, standing by his previous comments about Patty Jenkins’ Gal-Gadot-starring box office smash/critical darling of a movie. Cameron previously courted online controversy by calling the Wonder Woman film “a step backwards” in terms of Hollywood’s portrayal of heroic women.
Last month, Cameron labeled Gadot’s Diana Prince as “an objectified icon”, and suggested that his “troubled” Terminator protagonist Sarah Connor is a more progressive female protagonist. Disagreeing fans and journalists struck back, as did Jenkins herself. The Wonder Woman director posted a sizeable paragraph on Twitter, stating, “if women have to always be 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, then we haven’t come very far have we.”
Not one to back down, Cameron has now returned the Wonder Woman discussion to stand by his previous comments. In a new interview with THR, Cameron touched on many topics – including his busy slate of Avatar sequels, and the return of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor to the Terminator franchise – but his latest Wonder Woman comments are sure to cause the biggest stir:
“I'll stand by that [calling Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman an ‘objectified icon’]. 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. They had Raquel Welch doing stuff like that in the '60s. It was all in a context of talking about why Sarah Connor — what Linda created in 1991 — was, if not ahead of its time, at least a breakthrough in its time. I don't think it was really ahead of its time because we're still not [giving women these types of roles].”
THR mentioned Jenkins’ statement about female characters not having to be troubled to be strong, and Cameron had a response ready:
“Linda looked great [in the Terminator films]. She just wasn't treated as a sex object. There was nothing sexual about her character. It was about angst, it was about will, it was about determination. She was crazy, she was complicated. … She wasn't there to be liked or ogled, but she was central, and the audience loved her by the end of the film. So as much as I applaud Patty directing the film and Hollywood, uh, 'letting' a woman direct a major action franchise, I didn't think there was anything groundbreaking in Wonder Woman.”
However, despite not backing down from the discussion, Cameron did admit that his initial comments may have been overly simple: “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 [Wonder Woman] had the upper hand with the male character, which I thought was fun.” Cameron also described Wonder Woman as a “good film”.
This war of words doesn’t feel like its over. And when Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 2 and Cameron’s manifold projects (particularly the Hamilton-starring Terminator 6, which he’s producing) make it to the screen, you can be sure that their female characters will be thrust under the microscope and dissected. For all the latest updates, keep it Screen Rant.
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