Why Cheetah’s Ending Is Handled That Way In Wonder Woman 1984

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984. If you have not yet had the chance to watch the film, continue at your own risk!

Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah has one of the strongest arcs in Wonder Woman 1984, transforming from a lonely, nerdy scientist to a bold, selfish killer, but you probably noticed that the conclusion was left a bit open ended. The titular heroine successfully defeats her in combat before facing off with Max Lord, and there is a final glimpse of her that lets the audience know that she turns back to human form, but not much information is provided beyond that – including what happens to her in the aftermath of the chaos, and whether or not she rescinded her wish. You may find yourself asking a lot of questions, but per director Patty Jenkins that’s definitely intentional.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of participating in what turned into a rather spoiler-heavy roundtable interview with the filmmaker and Wonder Woman 1984 star Gal Gadot, and one of the topics broached in the conversation concerned Cheetah’s fate. While she didn’t exactly go deep into details, Jenkins explained that there are reasons why things are left mysterious, saying.

I have my reasons for making it ambiguous. And I think it's not clear, her point of view on everything that just happened. I love that we wrap up Max Lord's point of view and that you see the culmination of that storyline. I think it's so important. But the truth is there may or may not be more to come, and reasons for that.

While she didn’t come out and directly say it, that seems like a pretty strong hint that audiences haven’t seen the last of Kristen Wiig as Barbara Ann Minerva, and that there exists the possibility that we could see more of her in a Wonder Woman 3. That would certainly make sense given that she is considered in the comics to be Diana’s archvillain (the Joker to her Batman, the Lex Luthor to her Superman). The only real issue that emerges is Wonder Woman 1984’s period setting – assuming that the sequel would do another time jump and tell a story featuring the eponymous heroine in the present.

As Patty Jenkins went on to explain, however, the end of Cheetah’s story in the blockbuster isn’t just about keeping options for the future. Being honest, she explained that it was a tricky thing to try and find a way to give closure to that character without accidentally derailing the ending for Wonder Woman, which always had to be the primary focus. Jenkins explained,

It's complicated, what goes on with Barbara. There was not an easy scene, even if the answer was one way or the other, even if it was that she did rescind wish, like then what? She goes back to her normal life and now Diana is not there anymore? It would take time and it would be a big deal to try to culminate it one way or the other. So there were multiple reasons for doing it that way. And if it leaves you wanting more answers, there's nothing wrong with that.

Will we get to see Cheetah in Wonder Woman 3 (whenever that movie gets made)? We’ll just have to wait and see, but for now we here at CinemaBlend still have a ton more Wonder Woman 1984 content coming your way on the site, so stay tuned!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.