Wonder Woman 1984 is bringing a DC Comics villain to the big screen for the first time in the form of Kristen Wiig's Cheetah. Cheetah is a well-known adversary to Wonder Woman on the comic pages which means fans will have high expectations for the character in live-action. As the first reactions have indicated, Wonder Woman 1984 is certainly on to something bright with this villain. While talking with ComicBook.com during a mixer event following screenings of their new film, Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot opened up about their approach to Cheetah and working with Wiig throughout production.
"Executing Cheetah was harrowing," Jenkins admitted over a Zoom call. "I got to tell you, I knew that I wanted Cheetah to be in it, but from day one I was like, 'Whew, this is ... Got to be right!' You know? I was so scared about not getting it to look right, and it took every second from the moment we started prep to the moment we watched picture to get it there. Like, every single second was so hard to do."
Ultimately, it appears Jenkins took an approach which has at least earned praise from many of those who saw Wonder Woman 1984 early. "We talked about it a little bit, it's not a purely feminine arc, but it is an arc that makes a lot of sense to women and their friendships that they've had in their youth,' Jenkins explains. "And so it was fun to get to do that, and interesting to get to do that kind of thing, your friend that turned into your frenemy when they realize that they're coveting something about you, and that was really cool. It was cool to try to make her arc really organic, or get to a place where it's my turn. There's that bitterness, I loved her performance there, where she says, 'Now it's my turn. You think I don't understand?', misunderstanding completely what Diana's trying to tell her."
Gadot, who spent most of her time off the set of Wonder Woman 1984 with either Wiig or Steve Trevor actor Chris Pine, seems to have developed quite a bond with the actress who played her Diana Prince's friend turned enemy.
"Kristen is freaking amazing, I love her so much," Gadot said. "She came onset and we clicked immediately and we just have such a good chemistry and it was pure fun. It was like, we have to work out the entire production and we have to do so many stunts and it's physical and you're tired and all that, but as soon as we get to set and we're all together, it's delightful, it's electric."
In fact, the pair had so much fun on set, they started singing and dancing together in down time which has resulted in music video clips that Jenkins has locked away. Hopefully she will share one day. "I was like, 'Guys, guys! We've got to shoot!'" Jenkins joked.
"Yeah, like the teacher. We're like, 'Sorry-sorry,'" Gadot laughed. "It was amazing, and it made everything so, so great. It was just great. From one moment we're laughing and then they're rolling cameras, and in a second, we can both get into the mode of being in the character and becoming serious and all of that." Gadot also notes that the family making Wonder Woman movies has been unlike any other, whether it was a set where she was playing the same character or an entirely different franchise.
"I can't imagine how it feels to shoot such a project with people that you don't get along with," Gadot said. "With us, it feels like family. Patty's family are my family, Kristen and Pedro and Chris are all like, we're living in a commune when we're shooting these type of movies. It is amazing, and it's so great that you felt that we had this connection."1comments
Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters and HBO Max on December 25.