Now that Birds of Prey is out in theaters, Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics are now switching gears to kickstart the hype machine for their long-awaited summer sequel Wonder Woman 1984. That movie will see Diana Prince go up against two foes in the forms of Maxwell Lord and Barbara Minerva AKA Cheetah. But it's the latter character who will connect to Diana on a different level, forming a bond that will be tested when Minerva begins to covet everything that Diana represents. And now we're starting to learn more about how actress Kristen Wiig is approaching this character.
During a set visit with Entertainment Weekly, Wiig revealed that she only learned about the character of Cheetah in preparation for the role.
"I did not really know so much about Cheetah," said Wiig. "Before I even talked to Patty [Jenkins], there was an idea that maybe it might be about being a villain for the movie, so I went online and looked at all the villains of Wonder Woman to try to figure out which one, because I was so excited. And I was really, really happy to find out it was her."
Wiig teased that there will essentially be two different versions of the character, hinting that Barbara's transformation into Cheetah will come with a lot of personal changes.
"I've never really played someone who walks into the room and owns it — especially when she starts out so insecure and self-deprecating," Wiig said. "We didn't want to see Barbara in Cheetah, and I didn't want to see Kristen in Cheetah, either."
Director Patty Jenkins offered some insight into her version of the classic DC Comics villain, promising that Wiig's interpretation will be in line with some iconic portrayals in history of superhero cinema.
"In the lore, Cheetah is often someone who's friends with Diana but jealous of her," Jenkins explained. "And I feel like Kristen's playing a character who's both ends of the spectrum — she's your warm, funny friend who's kind and interesting and then can transform into something completely different. Yes, she happens to be a woman, but she's straight out of the Gene Hackman Superman school of great, funny, tremendous actors. I don't think of her being a female villain, although she is. I feel that way about Wonder Woman, too. The female component of it is huge, but she's also just a hero, a universal hero."
Wonder Woman 1984 premieres in theaters on June 5th.
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