The original Avatar was a game-changer, and its very belated sequel hopes to be the same. It’s at least bigger, which is to say it’s even longer. It’s got a new take on the high-frame rate business that has never quite taken off before. It’s also not content to simply feature strong female warriors. Indeed, James Cameron found a way to go one step further than Marvel and the lot.
“Everybody’s always talking about female empowerment,” Cameron said in a new chat with fellow filmmaker (and Alita: Battle Angel cohort) Robert Rodriguez for Variety’s “Directors on Directors” series. “But what is such a big part of a woman’s life that we, as men, don’t experience? And I thought, ‘Well, if you’re really going to go all the way down the rabbit hole of female empowerment, let’s have a female warrior who’s six months pregnant in battle.’”
He went on:
“It doesn’t happen in our society — probably hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. But I guarantee you, back in the day, women had to fight for survival and protect their children, and it didn’t matter if they were pregnant. And pregnant women are more capable of being a lot more athletic than we, as a culture, acknowledge. I thought, ‘Let’s take the real boundaries off.’ To me, it was the last bastion that you don’t see. Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel — all these other amazing women come up, but they’re not moms and they’re not pregnant while they’re fighting evil.”
Sure enough, for The Way of Water, Kate Winslet didn’t just break records for holding her breath longer than Tom Cruise. She also played a Na’vi warrior with a noticeable baby bump during the battle scenes. Marvel — and the DCEU, when it finally figures out what’s up there — have to step up their game.