When it to comes female characters in comics, Wonder Woman is often seen as the most iconic female superhero, having long been regarded as a feminist icon in pop culture. So, it wasn't entirely surprising when her first solo film managed to not only smash the box office this summer, but also reaffirm the character's feminist status -- at least, in the eyes of most fans. For director James Cameron, the film was actually seen as a step back for female representation.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, the acclaimed director explained that he felt the film was far from a milestone for Hollywood, explaining that the film is simply "male Hollywood doing the same old thing."
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing!
Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that he didn't like the movie. For Cameron, though, he couldn't help but to see Wonder Woman as a step backwards, and that Diana is a far cry from a character like Sarah Connor, who he went on to explain wasn't viewed as a beauty icon -- suggesting that Diana comes off as more of a beauty icon than a complex character in her first solo film.
"I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards. 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. And to me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”
Cameron's words are sure to ignite backlash among fans, especially given the incredible success of the film and its importance in helping prove moviegoers are ready for more female fronted projects -- as well as more female talent behind the camera.
Available Aug. 29 on Digital HD and Sept. 19 on Blu-ray and DVD, Wonder Woman stars Gadot as Diana, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff, David Thewlis as Ares, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Elena Anaya as Doctor Poison, and Lucy Davis as Etta Candy. Wonder Woman 2 is slated to hit theaters Dec. 13, 2019.