Wonder Woman is one of the biggest movies of the year.
Warner Bros. and DC knocked this superhero movie way out of the park, which was shocking considering their recent outings.
But despite the renowned acclaim, a legendary movie director thinks that Wonder Woman was a “step backwards.”
James Cameron is responsible for the two highest-grossing international box-office movies of all time with Avatar ($2.78 billion) and Titanic ($2.18 billion).
To say that he knows what audiences want would be a bit of an understatement. So it is surprising that Cameron was unimpressed by the latest international sensation.
And his reasoning is because Wonder Woman an “objectified icon.”
Fox News reports:
“DC and Warner Bros. hit it big with “Wonder Woman,” arguably the first big hit in its ambitious extended universe based on DC Comics characters. However, for every critical hit, there is always at least one voice of dissent.
Director James Cameron, who is currently working on a slew of “Avatar” sequels and another “Titanic” TV special, wasn’t as impressed as most people with “Wonder Woman.”
In his opinion, it was over-hyped and served to do the opposite of forwarding the cause of women in Hollywood.
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” Cameron said in an interview with The 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.”
The director went on to explain that he believes one of his popular protagonists, Sarah Connor from the “Terminator” franchise, sets a better example for female leading characters in movies.
“Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit,” he said.
“And to me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”
Despite how Cameron feels about “Wonder Woman,” it was a hit amongst viewers and critics alike, scoring an impressive box office outing of more than $400 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo.
This figure shatters the other installments in the DCEU. Recently, The Hollywood Reporter notes that director Patty Jenkins addressed the same issue of women in Hollywood as well.
“I hope the success of the film will lead to change and lead to other people getting opportunities,” Jenkins told reporters. “I hope women become a diverse, easy hire for all sorts of jobs in the future.”
Upon hearing about Cameron’s thoughts, Patty Jenkins responded in a note she posted on Twitter.
“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.”
Cameron does have a point even if it’s not a nuanced one.
In Terminator, Sarah Connor was an everyday woman who saves the world.
And Wonder Woman is a naïve superhero that also saves the world.
It’s as if Cameron is saying you don’t need to be a beautiful superhero to change the world.
But despite obvious genre differences, Cameron seems to be forgetting his Terminator movies are rated R and Wonder Woman was PG-13.
They’re not in the same league with each other.