What with the sequel to director Patty Jenkins’ blockbuster hit Wonder Woman heading into production this coming summer, we’re beginning to hear scattered rumors about what the new film will look like. In a surprise bit of casting no one predicted, according to Deadline, actress Kristen Wiig is in talks for the role of the Cheetah, considered by many to be Wonder Woman’s most well known adversary. This news comes after the recent revelation that Cheetah could become the main villain for the sequel.
UPDATE, 3/9/18 – On Friday morning, director Patty Jenkins herself officially confirmed that Kristen Wiig would be joining the DC Extended Universe to play archvillain Cheetah in Wonder Woman‘s developing sequel. Jenkins hit Twitter with the following message:
So excited to confirm the most thrilling news. Yes! It’s true! So incredibly lucky to welcome the sensationally talented Kristen Wiig to our Wonder Woman family. Can’t wait to finally work with one of my favorites. And SO excited by what we have planned. #Cheetah!!! @GalGadot pic.twitter.com/Gn0jICiIAH
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) March 9, 2018
This may be bad news for Themyscira, but it’s great news for us!
3/1/18 – According to the original report, it appears that Wiig was always close to the top of Jenkins’ short list for the role, and that Jenkins had let Wiig know she wanted her for the part before the director had begun scouting locations for the Cold War-era sequel. Although many fans were hoping that Charlize Theron might be playing the Cheetah (makingthe connection due to the actress’ previous Oscar-winning work in Patty Jenkins’ Monster), it now looks like it’s Wiig’s role to lose.
Although in the original DC Comics it’s safe to say that Ares is Wonder Woman’s main villain, the larger pop culture scene has catered to the perception that Cheetah is Diana’s #1 foe, thanks to her role in the classic Super Friends cartoon series and in several other animated offerings.
There have been several versions of the character over Wonder Woman’s 75-year history. The first Cheetah was Priscilla Rich, a criminal suffering from a fictionalized split personality disorder who wore a cheetah print cat costume when committing crimes, similar to Catwoman. Her niece, Debbie Domaine, inherited the name and costume decades later.
The most popular version of the character—and the one said to be used in the upcoming film—is Dr. Barbara Minerva. This version of the Cheetah was a top-to-bottom reinvention of the character by George Perez for Wonder Woman’s mid ’80s reboot. Minerva was an archaeologist who learned about an ancient cat god while on a dig in Africa. She became the host body for this ancient god, but the ritual that transformed her into a were-cat practically crippled her in her human form. The later DC Rebirth version of Cheetah added a new wrinkle to her backstory by making her a former friend of Diana’s.
Although Wiig is know primarily as a comedic actress thanks to her work on SNL and in films like Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters, she’s landed several dramatic acting parts too, like her turn in The Martian and most recently, Mother! Although it seems at first like an offbeat choice, she could definitely nail this role under Jenkins’ direction.
What do you think of Kirsten Wiig potentially taking her claws out on Gal Gadot in the Wonder Woman sequel? Be sure to let us know what you think down below in the comments.
Images: DC Comics / Warner Brothers / Sony
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