UPDATE: Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has responded to James Cameron.
“James Cameron’s inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman,” Jenkins wrote in a note she posted to Twitter. “Strong women are great. His praise of my film Monster, and our portrayal of a strong yet damaged woman was so appreciated. But 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. I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose to judge their own icons of progress.”
EARLIER: James Cameron claims “all of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided.”
The Terminator director told The Guardian in a new interview that the Patty Jenkins blockbuster is just “male Hollywood doing the same old thing” on account of the fact that he feels Wonder Woman as a character is “an objectified icon.”
“I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards,” Cameron said.
Cameron is notable for putting actresses at the forefront of his action films, from Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor in Terminator and T2 to Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in Aliens (that character originated in Ridley Scott’s 1979 blockbuster Alien). But according to the filmmaker, Connor has an edge on Wonder Woman when it comes to authenticity.
“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!”
Cameron is currently at work on the four sequels to 2009’s Avatar, with shooting expected to begin in September.
Wonder Woman has a sequel planned for Dec. 19, 2019, with Gadot on board to return as the lasso-wielding heroine.