Deadline is reporting today that Kristen Wiig has been lassoed (ha HA!) into the role of Wonder Woman’s nemesis Cheetah in the upcoming Wonder Woman 2.
The pic, which has Gal Gadot back and director Patty Jenkins, is set in the ’80s during the Cold War. Sounds like this will happen quickly, and a symbol of female empowerment gets a sequel where both main characters are women.
Wiig has proven her versatility during her run on Saturday Night Live, and she was Oscar-nominated for co-writing Bridesmaids, which also provided her breakout starring turn. This will be her first role as a super villain, so she continues to break new ground. Stay tuned.
Not quite sure what to make of this. It was reported that Emma Stone was the studio’s choice, but passed on it. Kristin is great, love her to death, don’t get me wrong. But as a super villain? Can she play it straight? Can she be menacing? Can she not devolve into schtick? Fingers crossed because A LOT is riding on this. As Deadline reminds us: The film is top priority for Warner Bros, after the first grossed $821 million worldwide.
A little back story:
There have been a number of different Cheetah incarnations in the Wonder Woman comics, since she first appeared in October 1943.
Among the most likely choices – via Wikipedia:
1. There’s Priscilla Rich, a 1940s-era blonde Washington, D.C. debutante of aristocratic upbringing who also has an overwhelming inferiority complex and suffers from a split personality and self-importance. After being eclipsed by Wonder Woman at a charity event and failing to kill her during an escapology act, Priscilla retreats to her room and collapses before her makeup mirror. There she sees an image of a woman dressed like a cheetah. “Horrors!” she cries, as she gazes at her evil inner-self for the first time. “Don’t you know me?” replies the reflection. “I am the REAL you—the Cheetah—a treacherous, relentless huntress!” The image commands her to fashion a Cheetah costume from a cheetah-skin rug. “From now on,” intones the reflection, “when I command you, you shall go forth dressed like your TRUE self and do as I command you…”
2. There’s British archaeologist Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, born as the heiress of a vast fortune in the ancient family site in Nottinghamshire. Ambitious, selfish, and severely neurotic, Barbara develops a passion for archaeology that eventually led her to search out a tribe in Africa who utilizes a female guardian with the powers of a cheetah. A band of marauders kill the guardian and most of what remained of her original expedition party. Barbara, with the aid of the priest, Chuma, the caretaker of the ancient plant god Urzkartaga, takes her place after being told that she would gain immortality. Her powers are conferred to her by ingesting a combination of human blood and the berries or leaves of Urzkartaga. Unfortunately for Minerva, the host of the Cheetah persona is intended to be a virgin. Minerva is not, however, so her transformations were part curse and part blessing, as she experiences severe pain and physical disability while in her human form and bloodthirsty euphoria while in her cat form.[
3. There’s also another version of Barbara Ann Minerva, who was an expert in dangerous relics and was in the possession of a dagger once belonging to a lost tribe of Amazons. When she cut herself on it, she was possessed by the Goddess of the Hunt, transforming her into a human/cheetah hybrid. Her claws can also turn Superman into a cheetah-like being. The origin of the Cheetah is dated back to the San Tribe, who for centuries had hunted alongside the cheetahs and every generation one of their members is chosen to become the host of the Goddess of the Hunt until one day a hunter killed the current host; the knife used to kill her was cursed until it fell in the hands of Minerva.
Not sure which one they’re going with, or if they’re just giving her a whole new backstory, but it sure will be interesting to see.
(Photos: Pacific Coast News and DC Comics)