Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that empowers you through understanding. We know from the trailer that Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) begins her journey as the mild-mannered, bespectacled Barbara Minerva. Kristen Wiig on playing supervillain Cheetah in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ By IANS | Published: 19th December 2020 1:22 pm IST. By Cameron Bonomolo - December 26, 2020 10:35 pm EST. Diana throws a tantrum as she watches another Amazon win instead. But this surface-level adaptation is a waste of a character who, in the comic books, is Wonder Woman’s complicated, fascinating arch-enemy. Yet, thanks to her demigod blood and ingenuity, she begins beating each one in an Ironman-type race. What happens when the former leader of the free world gets deplatformed? Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot, left) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) tussle in the White House in "Wonder Woman 1984." WW84 Director Hints Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah Returns in Wonder Woman 3. There's definitely some C.G.I. Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters November 1, 2019.Music: Droid Bishop - The Outlander. She discussed how she's been a fan of superhero movies for awhile and has always wanted to star in one, so the chance to play such an iconic villain was a dream come true. In the opening sequence, during the Amazonian CrossFit games at Themyscira, a very young Diana is portrayed going up against Amazons in their peak who are older, taller, wiser, stronger, faster than her. She regularly brings food for a homeless man on her walks home from work. It actually shortchanges Wonder Woman herself. I loved this scene, because it showed that Diana, despite being good-hearted and wanting to protect people, also has an ego. But bad luck knocks her off her horse, and though she makes a sterling recovery and almost wins the entire thing, Antiope, the Amazon general who also mentors Diana, disqualifies her. Why scientists are more worried about the Covid-19 variant discovered in South Africa. Barbara is a coworker of Diana Prince, AKA Wonder … The iconic comic book villain gets some screen time in the first and second acts of the movie, allowing Wiig to flex her mastery of social awkwardness and cringe comedy as we meet the bookish Barbara. These transformations ultimately leave the character’s intelligence, emotions, aspirations, and interior life unexplored. She goes from self-conscious to wearing skin-tight outfits, and ends the film as an anthropomorphic cheetah, without much explanation. Wonder Woman 1984 spoilers ahead. Fauci threw a lot of shade at Trump in his first comments as a Biden adviser. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Patty Jenkins is unsure whether or not Kristen Wiig's Wonder Woman 1984 villain Cheetah will return in the future. This post contains spoilers. And it's very easy to complain and say, oh my God, I can't even walk up the stairs. You know, all the things that Lord received throughout the movie. As she defeats each one, Diana looks up at her mom Hippolyta, as if proving she’s the best will spur some kind of positive reaction. Like fellow supervillains the Joker, Lex Luthor, Magneto and others, Cheetah is beloved and renowned for having her own array of traits and flaws — she’s more than just “evil.” The beauty of these bad guys is that while we might not agree with them, we can fully understand why they act in the way they do and be a conduit to think about our own fallacies and tragedies. Wonder Woman 1984 swings for the fences in its 150 minutes of runtime. The movie, the second in DC’s latest franchise, is both a return of Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince and a wistful look at how lonely her life is. Barbara Minerva, also known as Cheetah in the comics, might not get her comic book moniker on the screen, but Kristen Wiig certainly does the role justice. Actress Kristen Wiig says she did not want to bulk up for the role of the super villain, the Cheetah, in the upcoming superhero adventure, Wonder Woman 1984. But we don’t see how this so-called “monkey’s paw” negatively affects her life, save for not remembering to give her homeless friend food and maybe being a little too physically aggressive in public. Photo Courtesy: IANS. We’re going to find out. We’re left to infer based on what little the movie gives us as to why Barbara is now a feline, in particular; Barbara turns into a Cheetah because she needs to stop Wonder Woman from undoing all of the wishes from the wish-granting rock, and even though she kicked Wonder Woman’s ass in her current form, maybe she needs to transform into Cheetah — an “apex predator,” she tells Lord — to ultimately defeat her. What we end up with is part-romance, part-’80s period piece, and part-clunky global political commentary. But one thing pretty much everyone liked was the acting from Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Pedro Pascal as villain Maxwell Lord, and Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva, a … I just believed she would … Either one of these storytelling options would be valid, and it’s a shame we didn’t get anything remotely close to Barbara’s psychological state or interior life in WW84. For Kristen Wiig, her role as Cheetah was a dream come true. Barbara begins the film as an insecure, bookish nerd. How Kristen Wiig Got In Shape To Play Cheetah In Wonder Woman 1984. Wiig's Cheetah proves to be a formidable adversary for Wonder Woman, and their fight scenes are some of the highlights of the film. She and Diana are coworkers at the Smithsonian, and they quickly build a friendship after their first workplace meeting. While Diana and Barbara start off as friends, they soon turn into enemies when Diana decides to undo all of the gifts the Dreamstone has granted. Why is Cheetah, umm, a cheetah? Granted, delving into the complexities of adding another god into the mix and how that shakes up Barbara’s evolution Urzkartaga might have been too convoluted to spin into a story on screen. The much-anticipated sequel makes its debut in both theaters and on HBO Max (at no additional charge) simultaneously, which is the exact strategy Warner Bros. will implement for all of its 2021 films. The Biden era began with wholesome Bernie memes. The film would have even benefitted from just a small explanation of how Barbara found herself interested in gems and the ancient world in the first place. Maybe both. Overcoming the ego and anchoring that power with responsibility is what makes Diana a hero. Barbara’s relative lack of screen time doesn’t allow us to explore what makes the character tick — how evolving from a sheepish scientist to a sexy femme fatale affects her psyche. But what we got in WW84 had almost no depth at all: Barbara just wants to be beautiful, strong, and desired, and that is all that drives her. Kristen Wiig’s bruised villain is the best thing in Wonder Woman 1984 It shouldn’t be a surprise that the ‘Bridesmaids’ star brings emotional depth to the mutant Cheetah … Wiig's Cheetah proves to be a formidable adversary for Wonder Woman, and their fight scenes are some of the highlights of the film. Her superhero strength, invulnerability, and super speed do not guarantee that she’s always better than the rest of us. While these stories can be uncomfortable to read now (a lot of older comic book stories don’t age well because of outdated, casually sexist views) and strange (one version of Barbara’s origin story is that her transformation to Cheetah goes sideways because she’s not a virgin, condemning her to a life of pain in human form), they at least tell us more about the character, what these new demigod-like gifts mean to her, and how they affect her life. Minor spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984 ahead! newsletter. First look: Kristen Wiig as Cheetah in 'Wonder Woman' sequel The Cheetah has been Wonder Woman’s most viciously brutal foe since the start, cementing her reputation as one of the DC Universe’s most iconic—and feared—villains. December 25, 2020 by Kelsie Gibson. At the same time, Pedro Pascal’s dastardly oil tycoon Maxwell Lord is descending into insatiable madness and succumbing to his thirst for power, while also dragging the US, entrenched in the Cold War, into all-out nuclear warfare. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Kellyanne Conway’s 16-year-old daughter provided an ugly look into their family life. Jennifer Lopez on dressing up as Alex Rodriguez's ex Madonna, for Halloween: 'It wasn't weird' Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva in Wonder Woman 1984. 20 Shares Watch out! Chip in as little as $3 to help keep Vox free for all. It just made me feel really good." When asked about the physical training she had to undertake for the role, she responded, "Almost two months before we started shooting, I got a trainer — the movie wanted me to, just to get started. Cookies help us deliver our Services. While Gadot and director Patty Jenkins will return for Wonder Woman 3, there's no word yet on whether Barbara Minerva will come back. Cheetah. That's all real people.". In particular, we got to see Wonder Woman go up against her foe, Cheetah. Her story has been written over and ret-conned multiple times, but usually, it involves a deity named Urzkartaga who grants Barbara godlike powers; Barbara either actively seeks out these powers or is cursed with them against her will. For the time being, you can see Wiig show off all her training in Wonder Woman 1984, which is available to watch on HBO Max through January 24, 2021. Kristen Wiig is … I've always wanted to have superpowers," Wiig told InStyle's Laura Brown in an … When you watch the movie, we learned and did all of those fight sequences, in addition to our stunt people. As is often the case with the comic books, Diana grappling with her own flaws and her own humanity is more interesting to me than defeating a villain. Kristen Wiig on playing supervillain Cheetah in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Actress Kristen Wiig says she did not want to bulk up for the role of the supervillain, the Cheetah, in the upcoming superhero adventure, Wonder Woman 1984. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is back too, despite his fate at the end of the first film; his comeback plunges the movie into a romantic reunion, unrequited love territory. Actress Kristen Wiig says she did not want to bulk up … How will Trump handle life without Twitter and Facebook? Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts to all who need them. Millions rely on Vox’s explainers to understand an increasingly chaotic world. Kristen Wiig Would Have Said Yes to One Line in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Getting to play Cheetah was even better for the “Saturday Night Live” star, who loves superhero movies: “It … The lack of foregrounding hinders the impact of Barbara’s ultimate transformation into Cheetah. Clay Enos/DC Comics. elements later on, but for the most part it's wire work. She becomes nothing but a secondary villain, a footnote in the larger story. Kristen Wiig on Playing Cheetah and Flipping the Villain Narrative in Wonder Woman 1984. Oh, and it’s also a superhero movie. It has been announced that Kristen Wiig is going to be playing the Wonder Woman villain Cheetah in the upcoming sequel to Wonder Woman. Ask Alex Jones. That lack of curiosity is on display in WW84, as Barbara’s happiness is solely determined by the way she looks. Landing the role of Barbara Minerva in Wonder Woman 1984 is really her first action-oriented performance, and as such, she needed to prepare in a very different manner than the one to which she's accustomed. Kristen Wiig is primarily known for her comedic performances. The worst part about being Barbara is that she doesn’t get the attention of men whom she has crushes on. She’s smart and has a good job at the museum. Wonder Woman 3 May Bring Back Kristen Wiig's Cheetah in a Modern Day Story. Saturday Night Live alum Kristen Wiig will costar as Cheetah in Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, one of Wonder Woman’s fiercest foes. Does she want to save her friend or is she threatened by her? But after Barbara and Diana make wishes that grant Barbara the superhero strengths and sex appeal she envies of her new friend (and give Diana her boyfriend back), the film largely forgets about Barbara. Who knows? According to a recent interview with The New York Times, Wiig was more than up for the challenge. It would have been more uncomfortable to see Diana weigh being a goddess and her love of Steve Trevor, if just Barbara was in the picture and not Maxwell Lord. However, she's not the only one who uses the artifact for personal gain as Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) wishes to be just like her pal Diana, while entrepreneur Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) wishes to become the very Dreamstone itself. It’s a shame we never go to see that journey, but perhaps if we’re lucky, we might get to see it play out in the just-confirmed third movie — perhaps one where Barbara gets her rightful story to become Cheetah. Maybe she hates this trade but is forced to stay as a weird, vaguely hot cat-person because it’s more agile than her human body was before. “She's just a perfect fit for this fun-to-be-with girlfriend that you love and is funny and is interesting in that space, but then who has the inner fortitude and the acting chops to get to the end part,” Jenkins says. Wiig went on to say, "I was basically sore for like nine months. Wonder Woman 1984 will see the titular Amazonian Princess going up against two foes: Pedro Pascal's Maxwell Lord and Barbara Minerva, who will become the feral Cheetah. Wonder Woman 1984 sees the return of Gal Gadot's super-heroine, and joining her is Kristen Wiig as Barbara Ann Minerva, aka Cheetah, … Given that Cheetah’s look as a cheetah-human hybrid is akin to Cheetara from Thundercats, you might think that Wonder Woman 1984 would have to lean heavily on CGI to transform Kristen Wiig. RELATED: Kristen Wiig's 10 Best Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes. Cheetah's Wonder Woman 1984 Introduction Was Harrowing for Director Patty Jenkins. Bernie Sanders inauguration memes are liberal comfort food. Get our newsletter in your inbox twice a week. And that surreal evolution says plenty about how the movie sees her. The most frustrating part of the film’s portrayal of Cheetah is that it could have been an opportunity to show Wonder Woman’s own flaws and heroism in relief. This leads to several fight scenes between the two, necessitating some pretty extreme training for comic movie newcomer and SNL alum Kristen Wiig. "I'm a superhero nerd, so this is my dream. Of course, these wishes soon take a toll on their hosts, and in Barbara's case, that involves losing her humanity and eventually turning into the ferocious Cheetah. What a difference a new president can make. It’d be more beguiling if Diana’s beef with Barbara wasn’t just about stopping Maxwell Lord and righting the wrongs of the magic rock, but also because Diana can’t fathom being second-best. “Lonely single woman” is a trope that a lot of superhero movies rely on to create their villains, particularly female villains —like Catwoman in Batman Returns, Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin, and even Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey fame. A common flaw in some of these portrayals, though, is that the nerdy-to-sexy transformation is more concerned with aesthetics than character traits. And a shallow Cheetah isn’t just a disappointment for the viewers. Eliminating Lord from the story entirely could have allowed for more time devoted to Barbara and Diana’s story — granting them more emotional depth, and more room to flesh out their parallel stories about loneliness, ego, admiration, and love. Maybe she likes her new form, despite not showing any inclination of wanting to turn into a cat before arriving near the film’s climax all covered in fur. By now, you’ve likely seen Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman tear things up—and I do mean that literally—on screen in Wonder Woman 1984. I guess. See Kristen Wiig's Cheetah Costume for the First Time in New Wonder Woman 1984 Trailer Take a look at Kristen Wiig's Cheetah costume for the first time in the new Wonder Woman 1984 trailer. “She is a genius. When Barbara starts getting stronger and displaying the same powers as Diana, Diana’s desire to be the best could have bubbled up, showing that, despite being a demigod, she was just as human as the rest of us. From what little we do know of Barbara’s personal life in WW84, it doesn’t seem like she’s got it too bad. In the similar training sequence from the original, Diana is seen smirking as she’s kicking every Amazon’s ass, including taking down Antiope herself. Because we don’t know how truly bad or how good Barbara’s life was before her transformation, it also doesn’t quite work as a power fantasy. The release of Wonder Woman 1984 is significant for a couple of reasons. But to be honest, being stronger was so helpful, to get into who this character was. When she gets her initial powers from the mystical dream stone that the FBI turns over to her for inspection, she’s as happy as she’s ever been, far less lonely and much more respected by her peers. The variant carries mutations that may weaken the effect of vaccines. Sign up for the Barbara begins the film as an insecure, bookish nerd. Engagement: 0. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today, from as little as $3. Why did Barbara Minerva want to turn into a hot sexy cat lady? It could’ve been more powerful if WW84 explained how, despite how smart she is, Barbara’s been overlooked at work for promotions, for example; we only get scant traces of how ignored she is by everyone. After coming across a mysterious Dreamstone with the power to grant wishes, Diana brings her wildest fantasy to life when she manifests the return of her deceased lover, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). But in its attempt to be all these things at once, WW84 does a disservice to what could have been its greatest asset: Kristen Wiig’s devious performance as Barbara Minerva, a.k.a. She adds that she had a rigorous workout regime to get the physical … She wants her mother’s praise, which led to Diana’s biggest flaw as an adult: Diana absolutely hates losing. Perhaps the movie showed its hand in the first place: We never learn much about who Barbara is, anyway, beyond that she’s nerdy, lonely, and would trade everything in the world to be stylish, popular, and admired. She’s in love with winning and always seeking approval, which director Patty Jenkins gets at in the first movie. Share 8 Comments. 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