The wait for Wonder Woman fans is almost over. The sequel to the 2017 Gal Gadot-starring film was originally slated to drop in theaters this summer. Due to the effects of COVID-19, its release date was pushed to October and then to Christmas Day of this year. But with other blockbusters like No Time to Die delayed until 2021, it was uncertain if Wonder Woman 1984 would follow suit. Warner Bros. recently announced, though, that the film would be arriving in theaters and on HBO Max come December 25, reinforcing the release date and ensuring that at-home viewers won’t have to wait longer to see it. Fans of the original will be seeing some familiar faces with Gadot reprising her role as the titular character and Chris Pine making an exciting return as Steve Trevor. But we want to talk about Kristen Wiig making her DC Universe debut in the upcoming feature as The Cheetah.
Wiig is well known for her comedic work in projects such as Bridesmaids, Saturday Night Live, and the Despicable Me series. However, she also has a number of films within the drama genre to her name, and Wiig’s overall talent is what impressed Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins. “We were super fans of Kristen and we love how funny she is, but also I’ve been a huge admirer of what a great actress she is for a long time,” said Jenkins about the casting choice. “So when we needed someone to go all the way from one end of the spectrum of being funny, sweet Diana’s friend, all the way to a totally different place, we knew that Kristen Wiig would kill it.”
For those unfamiliar with the transformation that Wiig’s character undertakes, she starts as Barbara Ann Minerva before evolving into Wonder Woman’s nemesis. Super strength and super speed are amongst The Cheetah’s powers, which the film’s trailer teases. But how did Wiig go from Target Lady to “apex predator”? The actor shared during an interview that she’d always been a “superhero nerd” and landing the role was a dream come true. “My agent called and said, ‘Patty Jenkins wants to talk to you,’” Wiig recalled. “‘She won’t say what it’s about, but she’s directing another Wonder Woman movie.’” The actor flew out to London to test for the role, which she called “one of the most nerve-racking things of my life.”
Wiig noted that the turnaround time from testing for The Cheetah to booking the role wasn’t a quick one, but the casting may not have come as a surprise knowing Jenkins’ view of the actor. “[I] can’t wait to finally work with one of my favorites,” Jenkins wrote in a tweet confirming the news of Wiig’s casting. Helming Wonder Woman in 2017 placed Jenkins on TheWrap’s recent “11 Highest-Grossing Movies Directed by Women” list, which adds even more weight to her choice of the actor for the upcoming superhero sequel. “Yes, she happens to be a woman, but she’s straight out of the Gene Hackman Superman school of great, funny, tremendous actors,” Jenkins told Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t think of her being a female villain, although she is.” Come December 25, you can decide for yourself how Wiig does as The Cheetah when Wonder Woman 1984 makes its long-awaited debut.