Wonder Woman 1984: Patty Jenkins Explains Why Bringing Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah To Life Was ‘Harrowing’

Kristen Wiig as Cheetah

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The DC Extended Universe has become a strong force in the movie world over the years, and there are a number of highly anticipated projects coming down the line. Next up is Patty Jenkins' long-awaited Wonder Woman 1984, which will be released in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. Jenkins' sophomore DC blockbuster will feature some new villains, especially Kristen Wiig's Cheetah. And the filmmaker recently explained why tackling such an iconic villain was "harrowing."

Patty Jenkins made history with the original Wonder Woman movie, which broke new ground for having women both in front and behind the camera, while also proving what the DCEU was capable of. Jenkins adapted iconic characters like the title character and the island of Themyscira, but it turns out that bringing Barbara Ann Minerva/ Cheetah to life was particularly challenging. As she recently explained,

Executing Cheetah was harrowing. 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.

Yikes. It looks like making Cheetah into a reality in live-action created an endless number of challenges for Patty Jenkins when working on Wonder Woman 1984. She's got a unique appearance and set of abilities, and clearly the filmmaker wanted to get the villain just right. Luckily the public won't have to wait long before seeing the fruits of that labor later this month.

Patty Jenkins' comments come from a recent conversation she had with a group of outlets including Comic Book. While Wonder Woman 1984 has been in the can and completed for a number of months, it looks like getting the theatrical cut ready was a daunting task. This is particularly true when it comes to Cheetah, who had to be brought to life thanks to extensive visual effects.

Wonder Woman 1984 will heading straight to HBO Max, where the original movie is currently available for re-watch. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman's most iconic rogues, so comic book fans were thrilled to see her included in Wonder Woman 1984. Kristen Wiig's full transformation was only recently revealed in brief clips in the sequel's final trailers. It'll be interesting to see how and why Barbra becomes the ferocious villain, and how much of a match Cheetah is to Diana's powers.

Wonder Woman 1984's road its unprecedented release has been a long one. The movie was delayed a number of times over the years, originally intended for release in December of 2019. Eventually the movie was pushed back to June of 2020, before the ongoing pandemic resulted in another series of delays. But Warner Bros. is committed to the upcoming Holiday release, which will also arrive on HBO Max.

It should be interesting to see how Kristen Wiig's Cheetah factors into the narrative of Wonder Woman 1984. As the trailers revealed, she's originally going to be a friend of Diana Prince, before eventually turning on her and becoming a metahuman herself. It'll be interesting to see if she managed to survive their encounter, and if she has the potential to crossover into another DCEU movie.

Wonder Woman 1984 will hit theaters and HBO Max on December 25th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.