James Cameron says ‘Wonder Woman’ objectified its star and is ‘a step backwards’

The 'Avatar' director says 'Terminator''s Sarah Connor was a better depiction of a strong woman

James Cameron has criticised Wonder Woman for “objectifying” the film’s central character, calling it “a step backwards.”

The director, who is currently working on four Avatar sequels, doesn’t share in the opinion that Gal Gadot’s depiction of the superhero is a change in the right direction for how women are portrayed in movies.

“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” he told the Guardian. “She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing!”

He added that a character from one of the Terminator franchise was a much better example of a strong woman in the movies. “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.”

He continued: “And to me, [the benefit of characters like Connor] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”

Cameron added that he doesn’t understand why there are few strong female characters in movies when “there are many women in power in Hollywood.” “They do get to guide and shape what films get made,” he said. “I think – no, 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.”

Earlier this summer, Wonder Woman become the biggest global live-action film ever released by a female director, after it grossed an eye-watering $653.9 million (£514 million) worldwide.

The DC Comics superhero film, which was directed by Patty Jenkins, secured the massive box office sum in its fourth week of release.

It beat the record set by Phyllida Lloyd’s big screen adaptation of Mamma Mia, which grossed $609.8 million (£479 million) in 2008, as well as beating 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, for the biggest launch by a female director – after taking $85.2 million (£66 million) in its first weekend of release.