Wonder Woman 1984 is one of the most anticipated films of the summer. But director Patty Jenkins has kept a pretty tight lid on most plot details. Despite a few trailers and many promo images, fans still have no idea what the movie’s main villain the Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig, will look like. But a recent post advertising Halloween costumes for children based on the film might give an idea of the Cheetah’s final form:
According to the costume design, this version of Cheetah seems to be geared towards keeping the human attributes of the character clearly defined while adding feline black-dotted fur, claws, and fangs. This is a departure from some of the more extreme comic iterations of Cheetah which showcase her as a hulking, beastly creature.
The Cheetah is generally considered to be Wonder Woman’s archenemy, but the upcoming film is going to be the first time she makes her big-screen appearance. The Cheetah is the alter ego of Barbara Ann Minerva, played by Wiig, an archeologist who gets imbued with the powers and appearance of a cheetah.
Promotional materials for the movie so far have only presented the human side of Barbara as she becomes friends with Princess Diana and seemingly enters into a relationship with the other bad guy Maxwell Lord. But we know, somewhere down the line, events will pan out in such a manner as to cause Barbara to turn into the Cheetah and go on a rampage against Wonder Woman.
Of course, there is no confirmation that this is the final version of Cheetah we will get to see. It could be an early design that was ultimately scrapped for something more dramatic. Or it could be one of the many versions of Cheetah that we get to see as the villainess takes her final form.
The original Wonder Woman movie, while praised by fans and critics alike, drew some criticism for its portrayal of Ares, the film’s only fully CGI character. Since the Cheetah is meant to take his place as the new film’s big, bad CGI villain, the makers will surely be looking at past criticism to make Cheetah a more realistic and interesting antagonist.
Aside from the physical threat she poses, the character’s human alter-ego is also a significant part of the puzzle. The Cheetah is often portrayed as a misunderstood villain who is turned from her dark path by Wonder Woman’s love and compassion.
The film’s trailers have been pushing this angle quite a bit, showing us a healthy friendship between Diana and Barbara, instead of a continuous rivalry. It will be interesting to see how Jenkins will introduce the twist in the relationship that leads to the two becoming enemies, whether it is through the comic book movies patented “good side character turns into supervillain in quest for power” ala Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, or their other patented “Was secretly evil the whole time”, ala Ironmonger in Iron Man.