Wonder Woman took the world by storm this summer, but Gal Gadot’s triumphant tentpole failed to impress director James Cameron, who stirred the pot Thursday by taking a gendered shot at the blockbuster hit.
Cameron called the standalone female superhero film “a step backwards” for Hollywood.
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” Cameron toldThe Guardian. “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.”
Cameron’s comments come as Wonder Woman closes in on $800 million worldwide, making it the summer’s No. 1 film.
Deadline reports director Patty Jenkins is nearing a historic deal to helm the Wonder Woman sequel. “The movie … not only re-invigorated DC movies and the studio itself, but became a symbol of strength for women across the country,” the industry site wrote.
In the interview, Cameron namechecked female roles he created, like Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
“Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon,” he said. “She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit. And to me, (the benefit of characters like Sarah) is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”
The Guardian then asked: So why are movies still so bad when it comes to depicting powerful women?
“I don’t — I don’t know,” Cameron replied. “There are many women in power in Hollywood and they do get to guide and shape what films get made. I think — no, I can’t account for it. Because how many times do I have to demonstrate the same thing over again? I feel like I’m shouting in a wind tunnel!”
Online, commentators reacted swiftly, with some accusing him of “mansplaining” feminism.
“James Cameron can keep the mansplaining to himself because honestly nobody cares,” tweeted @Fatima_Garcia47.
“Jamie Lee Curtis stripping for Ah-nold and the camera in “True Lies” is one of the male gaziest scenes that ever male gazed,” The Hollywood Reporter‘s Daniel Fienberg tweeted.
“I love James Cameron. I think he has the Midas Touch when it comes to filmmaking. But his take on Wonder Woman is dead wrong,” Scott Stamper wrote.
“I’ll take ‘James Cameron tries to mansplain feminism AND fails to understand womanhood’ for $200, Alex,” deadpanned Dened Rey.
But not everyone felt that way.
“Leftist twitter is going crazy about James Cameron who didn’t say anything offensive. What else is new?” wrote @NightGhostess.
Cameron is currently working on four Avatar sequels, the first of which is planned to hit theaters on Dec. 18, 2020.
Contributing: Bill Keveney
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