It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Wonder Woman 1984 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.
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.
Check out the first look at Ms. Wiig as Barbara Minerva. This is basically perfect…
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.
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 1984 opens on November 1, 2019. The full DC superhero movie release schedule can be found here.