James Cameron Says Avatar 2 Is More Feminist Than Marvel, DC

Kiri, a Na'vi teenager, in Avatar: The Waterway

Sigourney Weaver, star of aliensplays teen Kiri in Avatar: The Way of Water.
Image: disney

There have been a lot of james cameron in the headlines lately, all because maybe the most james cameron movie of all time is about to hit theaters. Avatar: The Way of the Water emphasizes so many things the filmmaker is known for, including cutting-edge special effects, high-stakes action, the idea that a sequel can top an original, and strong female characters.

Cameron’s past sequels in particular have helped define what an action heroine looks and acts: think Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Ellen Ripley in aliens. These two women kick ass, and these two women happen to be mothers. These themes are, unsurprisingly, a key element of Avatar: The Way of the Watersomething Cameron discussed with fellow filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, his collaborator on Alita: battle angel-in a new Variety interview.

“I was really seduced by the fact that [Zoe Saldaña’s character] Neytiri hunts while she’s pregnant,” Rodriguez said, before dropping what may be a minor spoiler by adding, “And then you have one of the characters fighting pregnant,” and asking Cameron why it was a choice he wanted to make.

“Everyone always talks about female empowerment,” Cameron replied. “But what is so important in a woman’s life that we as men don’t know? And I was like, ‘Well, if you really want to go all the way down the female empowerment hole, let’s take a six-month-pregnant female warrior in combat.’ It doesn’t happen in our society – it probably hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. But I guarantee you that back then, women had to fight to survive and protect their children, and it didn’t matter if they were pregnant. And pregnant women are more capable of being much more athletic than we, as a culture, recognize. I thought, ‘Let’s remove the real limits.’ For me, it was the last bastion you don’t see.

Finishing his response, Cameron—a self-proclaimed fan of Marvel and DC movies— couldn’t help but point out that “Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel — all these other amazing women are coming, but they’re not mothers and they’re not pregnant as they fight evil.”

Avatar: The Way of the Water arrives on December 16.

Want more io9 news? Find out when to wait for the last wonder, star warsand star trek versions, what’s next for the DC Universe in Film and TVand everything you need to know about James Cameron Avatar: The Way of the Water.

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