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James Cameron Doubles Down on ‘Wonder Woman’ Critique, Details the ‘Avatar’ Sequels

The director also talks day-and-date releases and the "insanity" of President Trump's plan to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

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James Cameron is in the midst of perhaps his greatest undertaking yet as he begins to shoot two Avatar sequels simultaneously (with two more to come after that) while also working with director Tim Miller on what they hope will be a new Terminator trilogy. The particularly busy period comes as Cameron sparked a controversy in August after giving an interview in which he called Wonder Woman “a step backwards” and said the character, played by Gal Gadot, was “an objectified icon.” He pointed to Linda Hamilton’s Terminator character Sarah Connor as what a female action protagonist could be (“Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon,” he said.) Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins responded with a statement in which she ripped Cameron, saying “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 filmmaker, he is not a woman … I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman.”

Days before he began production on the first of four Avatar sequels, the Oscar winner and director of the two highest-grossing films ever addresses those comments and begins a conversation with THR by saying how happy he is that Hamilton, 61, is returning for the next film in the franchise:

How much do you worry about Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord?

It’s absurd for us to withdraw from Paris. It’s insanity. I think it’s actually psychotic to be doing that, or it’s delusional. Possibly both.

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.