Critics and movie lovers can’t get enough of director Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” and Gal Gadot as the film’s iconic hero. But one person who doesn’t seem impressed by the Amazonian superhero is Titanic director James Cameron who calls Gadot’s Diana Prince an “objectified icon” and a “step backwards” for Hollywood.
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” Cameron tells 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.”
Jenkins has since responded to Cameron’s inflammatory comments in a tweet shared via 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 film-maker, he is not a woman,” she began her note.
The female director went on to thank Cameron for his praise of her 2003 movie Monster, which starred Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, but insisted that women should be free to be as multi-dimensional as they like.
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) August 25, 2017
Despite not earning Cameron’s praise, the superhero blockbuster is now the highest-grossing live-action film directed by a woman, pulling in nearly $405 million to date. Though he may not care for Wonder Woman as a female action hero, Cameron does think there’s another on-screen female protagonist worthy of icon status – Sarah Connor from his Terminator franchise.
“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 says, explaining why the character portrayed by his ex-wife, Linda Hamilton, in the two films is a better female icon. “To me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”
In the interview, the Avatar filmmaker says he’s attracted to strong women. Cameron was also briefly married to Kathryn Bigelow, the only female director to ever take home the Academy Award for Best Director. Married five times, Cameron is now wed to actress Suzy Amis, whom he met while directing Titanic.
“Being attracted to strong independent women has the downside that they’re strong independent women – they inherently don’t need you!” Cameron says. “Fortunately, I’m married now to a strong independent woman who does believe she needs me.”