Kristen Wiig is taking on a big role in the DC Extended Universe, and fans are conflicted about how they should feel about it.
The character of Cheetah is a difficult one for the DCEU at this moment in time.
The story behind her origin sounds oddly familiar — Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva is an archaeologist who finds an ancient artifact that leads to her becoming possessed by a cheetah deity.
This all sounds suspiciously familiar to the origin of the Enchantress from “Suicide Squad,” and it does suggest that someone over at DC has a weird love of stories about female scientists getting punished for doing their jobs. It’s an incredibly awkward running theme in the DCEU that you’d think Warner Bros. would want to shy away from, but apparently, nope, they’re steering straight into it.
So what can we expect from Cheetah as a villain in “Wonder Woman 2,” especially considering that Kristen Wiig has been cast in the furry role?
News of Wiig’s casting has confused a lot of people, who are concerned that this movie’s going to end up even more comical and lighthearted than the first “Wonder Woman.” After all, isn’t Wiig primarily a comedy actor?
It’s often the case that a solid comedian can bend themselves to a serious role easier than a serious actor can pick up comedy (Leslie Nielsen notwithstanding). So long as Wiig is properly filmed, and provided her character is well written, she should be able to give the role the gravitas that people are hoping for without any problem.
The bigger question is how Cheetah will be differentiated from Enchantress, considering the similarities between their origins. This is where Patty Jenkins will no doubt shine — while Enchantress is a one-dimensional character in a skimpy outfit, we can trust Jenkins to create a more nuanced, intriguing Dr. Minerva that isn’t filmed in such a way as to merely provide risqué titillation.
Wonder Woman and Cheetah often have a complicated relationship in the comics, and this will no doubt come across in the movie (although it remains to be seen just how intimate the two characters will get in the cinematic version of their relationship). The primary reason for Jenkins choosing Cheetah for this movie is probably because of how Diana Prince and Barbara Minerva react to each other, rather than anything to do with a half-cheetah woman.
So, in summary, what can we expect from Kristen Wiig as Cheetah?
Probably a new favorite comic book movie villain for anyone who enjoyed the first “Wonder Woman.”
Plus, an awful lot of cosplay, because if there’s one thing the DC movies always manage to do, it’s provide awesome costumes for fans to re-create at home.