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James Cameron Makes Controversial Comments About Wonder Woman

DC and Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman has received critical acclaim the world 'round, for a host of different reasons, since its debut earlier this year, and it seems almost everyone loves the film. Everyone except for James Cameron, that is.

Cameron, who's known for writing dynamic female protagonists like Sarah Connor in the Terminator series and Ellen Ripley in the Alien follow-up movie, made some interesting comments regarding the film. "All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood's been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided," Cameron said in an recent 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."

By the sounds of his remarks, it appears Cameron is of the opinion that Wonder Woman has taken feminism in film to a less developed state than it was before the movie released, finding particular fault with how Gal Gadot's Diana Prince/Wonder Woman was portrayed. 

The filmmaker pointed to his Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton in The Terminator and The Terminator 2: Judgement Day, as the epitome of what a female action protagonist should be, and what a female superhero could learn from such a character. "Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon," Cameron 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!"

When asked why it's seemingly so difficult to depict well-rounded women in film, Cameron was at a loss for words. However, Cameron seemed to imply that he's grown exhausted of trying to show strong female characters on screen. "I don't know. There are many women in power in Hollywood and they do get to guide and shape what films get made... 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!"

Cameron then turned to his own relationship with independent women, of whom he's married five. His previous wives include Oscar-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, who directed The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark ThirtyTerminator producer Gale Ann Hurd, and Hamilton herself. The director then settled down with actress Suzy Amis in 2000 after meeting her on the set of the Leonardo DiCaprio-led epic Titanic.  

"Being attracted to strong independent women has the downside that they're strong independent women. They inherently don't need you!" Cameron said of his relationships. "Fortunately, I'm married now to a strong independent woman who does believe she needs me."

Cameron's comments are not only somewhat shocking considering his past experience with writing powerful female characters and directing equally strong actresses, but they're also surprising given how much praise Wonder Woman has swept up. The film is currently the highest-grossing live-action film directed by a woman and recently became the top-earning superhero origin movie in domestic box office history. It also finally gave one of the comic world's most revered female heroes her very own feature film, and was generally an enjoyable movie, standing as the first certified fresh pic in the entire DC Extended Universe lineup. 

Though it would be interesting to hear Cameron dive into a bit more detail about why he thinks Wonder Woman is a "step backward," the filmmaker has a lot on his plate at the moment. He's currently waist-deep in development on four sequels to 2009's Avatar, and will reportedly help relaunch the Terminator franchise

While we wait to hear if Cameron follows up on these admittedly controversial comments, find out why the director's version of Spider-Man never got made.