heels in Jurassic World

Bryce Dallas Howard is letting her hair down (so to speak) and putting her heels away for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Howard’s character Claire was at the center of much hoopla when Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World hit theaters in 2015 — with many incredulous at the prospect of a woman running away from giant prehistoric reptiles while wearing stiletto heels in the jungle.

It’s an issue that’s been tested and Mythbusted, as well as the subject of a thousand think pieces about sexism in the work force. But you don’t have to worry about it becoming another hot topic in its sequel — director J.A. Bayona promises: no heels.

In an interview with CinePop, Bayona assured audiences that Claire would only be wearing the most sensible shoes that you could wear while on a mission to save a dinosaur.

“No, no. Definitely, she’s more prepared in this one. In the first movie it was more like she was caught by surprise,” the director explained. “In this one, she’s totally ready and prepared for the adventure.”

The characterization of Claire’s character in the first Jurassic World was roundly criticized, and the heels were just the tip of the iceberg. To many, the heels were a symbol of the movie’s backwards and sexist view of women, forcing them into boxes as either the corporate ice queen or the maternal action heroine. On the other hand, how else were you supposed to show how uptight Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire was in contrast to Chris Pratt‘s earthy and grounded dinosaur trainer? And then there was the question of practicality: can you outrun a Tyrannosaurus Rex while wearing heels? (As someone who can barely stand in heels, no you cannot.)

On the heels of the backlash — pun intended — Howard defended the wardrobe choice as a character decision, saying, “This character needed to seem ill-equipped to be in the jungle. She was somebody who looks like she belongs in a corporate environment for a reason, because she was someone who was disconnected from the animals and disconnected from that reality and disconnected from herself.”

As for the practicality, well, this is a science-fiction movie about dinosaurs. Maybe we can let one or two things slide. But Bayona will seek to avoid this conflict altogether, introducing a new version of Claire who will hopefully not fall victim to the flat characterization that we saw in Trevorrow’s film. Bayona continued:

“I think we were very aware, doing said, about that and we work a lot in trying to make Claire a very strong character. She’s smart. She has a very emotional side, but also she’s very physically tough. I think she’s a very complete character. … The film starts with Clarie looking for Owen. She’s the one convincing him to join her and go back to the island to rescue the dinosaurs. She has as much an important role as Owen has in the story this time.”

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom hits theaters on June 22, 2018.

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