Wonder Woman broke box office records this summer, quickly becoming the highest-grossing film from a female director. And still, director Patty Jenkins, is being forced to defend her film against the idea that because it starred a female lead, Wonder Woman is a women's movie.
During a talk at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit Tuesday, Jenkins explained why the movie should appeal to people of all genders.
"A movie about a woman doesn't make it a 'woman' movie," Jenkins said at the event. "Wonder Woman was about being a hero."
Her comments on Tuesday come after Avatar director James Cameron criticized the widespread praise for the movie. "I didn't think there was anything groundbreaking in Wonder Woman," Cameron told The Hollywood Reporter last month. Those comments came after he told The Guardian that "the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood's been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided."
Jenkins herself responded to Cameron's statements in that interview, saying in a lengthy Twitter statement that "the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress." (Cameron has also compared Diana Prince to his Terminator character Sarah Connor.)
Jenkins said it best during the Vanity Fair panel discussion on Tuesday, though. "I want to make great films about life experiences, and they may have female leads," she said. If it's a great story, the audience will be there, no matter what gender a movie's lead is. Hopefully, by the time the Wonder Woman sequel is released, we won't still be having this conversation.
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