New details about Cheetah’s role in the upcoming Wonder Woman sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, have been reported. It was recently revealed that the film will be titled Wonder Woman 1984. Although few details have come to light thus far, Screen Rant exclusively reported last year that the movie will be set in the ‘80s and that Chris Pine will reprise his role as Steve Trevor - both of which have since been confirmed. We also know that Cheetah will be portrayed by Kristen Wiig.
Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, aka, Cheetah, is probably Wonder Woman’s most iconic villain. She was not the first to don the mantle of Cheetah, but Minerva is likely the incarnation that we will see onscreen. The archeologist sold her soul to Urzkartaga in exchange for supernatural abilities. However, this did not go as planned and Minerva was left with unendurable pain in human form, but insatiable bloodlust in her cat form.
Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan tweeted about Minerva’s possible character arc in the film, stating that she begins the movie as Diana’s friend, rather than her enemy. He added, “She emulates Wonder Woman, then seeks to usurp her.” This does indeed sound like Barbara Minerva, but not the original character conceived by Len Wein and George Pérez in the ‘80s. If this turns out to be Cheetah’s actual arc in the movie, the script will likely be drawing from Greg Rucka’s recent work. The acclaimed Wonder Woman scribe wrote one of the most beloved runs in the character’s history in the early 2000s, but returned to the book in 2016 for DC Rebirth.
In Rucka’s reimagining of the character, Minerva was one of Diana’s first friends after she left Themyscira. This version greatly expanded on Cheetah’s origin story, crafting a fully formed character that readers could actually root for, making her eventual downfall all the more tragic. If this is the Minerva that Wiig will be playing, it could definitely solve the villain problem that was so prevalent in the first film. Audiences and critics alike were undeniably spellbound by Wonder Woman, but if asked to pick a weak point, most would mention Diana’s final CGI-heavy battle with the underwhelming Ares. Barbara Ann Minerva is exactly the kind of Big Bad that could not only trade blows with Diana, but also really resonate with the audience.
Although some fans consider Wiig a controversial choice, there are many reasons why she is the perfect actress for the Cheetah role. Wiig is funny, genuine and likable. She has also proven not only her comedy chops in recent years, but has showcased rather impressive dramatic talent as well. Although this would definitely be a departure for the actress, we have no doubt that Wiig will make the character every bit as compelling as she is on paper, regardless of which version of Cheetah she suits up as.
Source: Kyle Buchanan
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