In the same way that Batman has The Joker and Superman has Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman has Barbara Ann Minerva a.k.a. Cheetah. The feline-themed villain has been a staple in the comics going back to the 1940s, regularly going toe-to-toe with Princess Diana of Themyscira, and their conflicts have been a key part of the heroine’s iconic history. As such, it was only a matter of time before the character got her time in the limelight on the big screen (which will finally happen in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 where she will be played by Kristin Wiig), but what you probably don’t know is that Patty Jenkins at one point considered teasing Minerva’s existence in the first Wonder Woman movie.
This interesting revelation actually comes from an on-set interview with the director two years ago when Wonder Woman 1984 was still in production. Talking with visiting reporters, including myself, between set-ups, the first question Jenkins was asked was in regard to the planning of the sequel and the development of ideas that came up in the making of the first movie. Discussing discussions about the role that Cheetah could play during the making of the first Wonder Woman, the filmmaker teased a cameo-that-never-was by saying,
Knowing we wanted Cheetah… I think we even talked about wanting Cheetah to show up in the beginning of the last movie cause we were going to even plant her in the first one. So it was kind of forming up for a long time.
For those who don’t recall the beginning of the first Wonder Woman, the movie started with a contemporary scene set after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – featuring Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince living a life in obscurity working as a museum curator at the Louvre in Paris, France. Had Barbara Ann Minerva been teased or made some kind of appearance, it’s interesting to think that she perhaps could been introduced as a colleague of Diana’s, as that’s the nature of the relationship between the two characters in Wonder Woman 1984 (which is a major change from the comics).
At the same time, however, executing this idea could have created a bit of a hitch – which you may have already picked up on in the last paragraph. Had Barbara Ann Minerva been teased at the start of Wonder Woman, that would have established her in the modern era instead of back in the mid-1980s. Had Cheetah been introduced in the way suggested, it may have had a serious effect on the ability for the sequel to be a period film. At the end of the day, it seems like it’s probably a good thing that the early appearance didn’t happen.
As for the rest of Wonder Woman 1984, Patty Jenkins added that chatter about Cheetah wasn’t the only aspect of the sequel that first came up in discussion during the making of the first Wonder Woman. While she didn’t really provide any specifics, she noted that there is one particular theme in the upcoming film that was given a lot of early consideration. Said Jenkins,
What I wanted this movie to be about was pretty clear fairly early on because... it's funny. It's one of those things where I found myself saying there was something about what the world wants to talk about right now, and she happens to have this Lasso of Truth, and truth ends up figuring in very large. And so yeah, it all started coming together then.
Seeing the arrival of Cheetah and Wonder Woman making expert use of her Lasso Of Truth are just two parts of Wonder Woman 1984 that we are exceptionally excited to see – and while the October 2nd release date is obviously the big end date in sight, we are now very close to getting a brand new preview of the film. A brand new trailer will be launching this Saturday during all the excitement of DC Fandome, so check out the event, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend as we cover all of the biggest news and announcements.