The Cheetah is your Wonder Woman 2 villain, and she'll be played by Kristen Wiig.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Wonder Woman 2 is looking for a better villain this time around. Ares was far more interesting in his human guise than he was in his full-powered mode at the end of the otherwise excellent Wonder Woman movie, and really, was one of the few weak spots in the otherwise excellent film. And while Wonder Woman doesn’t necessarily have the greatest rogues’ gallery in the DC Universe, there’s one villain that is generally considered to be her greatest foe: Cheetah.
That Hashtag Show were the first to report that Cheetah was the likely villain last week, and now Patty Jenkins has confirmed it.
So excited to confirm the most thrilling news. Yes! It%u2019s 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
Wiig may seem like an offbeat choice for the supervillain role, but when you consider the character of the Cheetah, it makes a little more sense.
While there have been no fewer than four different characters who have been called Cheetah in Wonder Woman’s history, the version we’ll see on screen is the most important one: Barbara Ann Minerva, a good-hearted archaeologist who unwittingly sells her soul to the god Urtzkartaga. The result? She’s essentially immortal and incredibly powerful, but she’s also, y’know, a humanoid Cheetah. Minerva herself is a dear friend of Diana’s, which makes their Wonder Woman/Cheetah battles all the more difficult. Since we’ve already seen that Diana spends her spare time working in museums, introducing Ms. Minerva should be a pretty easy fit.
The Minerva version of Cheetah was created by Gerry Conway and Jose Delbo and first appeared in Wonder Woman #274 in 1980. She is generally considered to be the ultimate version of the character, even though she was briefly replaced. She’s back now, though, and the most recent storyline with her from DC Comics was positively heartbreaking. It would be easy to see the movie taking a cue or two from that story.
Both That Hashtag Show and Deadline confirm what has been floating around for ages about Wonder Woman 2, as well: that it will take place in the 1980s and have a Soviet Union/Cold War theme. That’s going to be an interesting contrast with an African plant-god powered, cheetah-lookin’ supervillain, but I think Patty Jenkins deserves all of our faith.
Incidentally, at the very end of the Justice League movie, there’s a glimpse of a classy-lookin’ thief who just got busted trying to steal a cat statue. While everyone immediately thinks of Selina Kyle in situations like that, I’m pretty sure that was supposed to be Priscilla Rich, the original Cheetah, who most certainly did not transform into a bloodthirsty werecat in order to get her thievin’ done.
Wonder Woman 2 opens on November 1, 2019 and is expected to go into production later this spring. The full DC superhero movie release schedule can be found here.