A few days ago, Empire magazine provided a new look at Gal Gadot from ‘Wonder Woman 1984’, swinging from her Magic Lasso in a mall setting. It turns out the magazine has also provided a new image of Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva, an ordinary woman who becomes friends with Diana, only to evolve into the savage supervillain The Cheetah. Unfortunately, the new picture shows Wiig in civilian clothes. Other than the character poster above, we really haven’t seen Wiig in full Cheetah mode.
Here is the new photo which a fan shared on Reddit:
This is the second photo of Wiig to be released from the film, but both have shown her in regular attire. (You can view the first picture here.) Shortly after that first photo was released, a set video surfaced, showing Wiig doing some stunt work, to emulate the acrobatic skills the comic book character is known for.
What’s interesting is that it appears that director Patty Jenkins is drawing from multiple versions of The Cheetah from the comics. While most fans nowadays are most familiar with Barbara Minerva, the half-human/half-feline character, the original Cheetah was socialite Priscilla Rich, a mostly ordinary human with cat-like agility and a split personality. After developing crippling jealousy of Wonder Woman, Rich’s vicious Cheetah personality took over and she embarked on a life of crime. That version of The Cheetah debuted in 1943 and remained active until 1980.
At that point, she was briefly replaced by her niece Deborah Domaine, who also didn’t have super powers. But both Priscilla Rich and Deborah Domaine were eliminated by ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ in 1985.
Barbara Minerva was an archeologist who performed a ritual that involved drinking human blood and exotic berries to become the half-human/half-feline Cheetah that is the most recognizable today. She first appeared in 1987, after ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’.
Wiig is playing Barbara Minerva, but it seems as though she will also embody elements of Priscilla Rich. It doesn’t seem like she will fully transform until the end of the movie.
It also appears that Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord has something to do with her transformation. It’s actually possible that he is entirely responsible for her shift from friend to foe.
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ also features Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, and Robin Wright. It claws its way into theaters on June 5th, 2020.