Yesterday saw the first clip from director Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World premiere online. While many fans were no doubt bummed by the lack of dinosaurs, others were merely titillated by the appearance of strong-chested Chris Pratt. Case in point: Female fan website The Mary Sue made a .gif-heavy post expressing their appreciation for Pratt’s character.
But Joss Whedon saw the clip a different way. The Avengers: Age of Ultron director/writer has made a reputation for creating powerful female characters in his stories, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Zoe from Firefly. In the JW clip, what he saw was a stiff, emotionless, over-organized woman and a “charming” sex-joke making, down-to-earth man. In other words, a set of tired gender tropes that Whedon related to old-fashioned sexism:
A few things are interesting about the remark. One is that it’s essentially Whedon calling out another director’s work (work at least partially written by a female, mind you), a summer blockbuster coming just one month after his own. Another is exactly who he’s calling out, as Pratt is of course Star-Lord in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Whedon has been Marvel’s golden boy for the last few years — though it looks like he’s already been replaced — but taking shots at another of the studio’s stars could stir trouble.
From the other side, The Mary Sue has actually been known to be on the exact opposite side of gender issues like this. Whedon himself has even commended the site in the past. And it’s not like the writing in the scene is particularly inspiring.
Still, it might be best to wait for judgement until we see how the filmmakers treated the real stars of the film, the dinosaurs. It is Jurassic World, after all.