Last week Word of the Nerd reported a casting rumor that turned out to be true! Director Patty Jenkins recently confirmed that Kristen Wiig will be joining Gal Gadot in the Wonder Woman sequel as Cheetah. Wonder Woman 2 will have Gal Gadot reprise the title role throughout the 1980s Cold War. Patty Jenkins confirmed that she will return for the sequel as well.
Patty Jenkins tweeted out on March 9, “So excited to confirm the most thrilling news. Yes! It’s true! So incredibly lucky to welcome the sensationally talented Kristen Wiig to our Wonder Woman family. Can’t wait to finally work with one of my favorites. And SO excited by what we have planned.”
Gal Gadot responded, “I’m SO excited welcome on board Kristen! This is going to be WONDERful!”
Who is Cheetah?
Different characters have taken up the name Cheetah in the comics, but the most infamous one was Dr. Barbara Minerva. She was a British archaeologist who had garnered a reputation for going to any lengths to secure an artifact. She went into the African jungle, searching for the legendary lost city of the Urzkartagan tribe. Their guides betrayed them and the Urzkartagans ambushed them. Only she and one other, Dr. Tom Leavens, escaped by diving into a river.
The two of them found the lost city while it was in the midst of a ritual. The high priest, Chuma, sacrificed one of their other team members in order to restore to health an ailing woman. The woman was believed to be an avatar for their cheetah god. Before the ritual was complete, outsiders attacked. Minerva was only able to save Chuma while the outsiders slaughtered everyone. A grenade blast buried the two of them within the temple to the god Urzkartaga.
Minerva Becomes Cheetah
Chuma explained that the ritual would have turned the old woman into a cheetah god. The ritual, which could only be performed on the full moon and required a blood sacrifice, restored the woman to youth as well. She had been centuries old at the time of her death. Minerva demanded the ritual be done to her so she could have her chance at power and immortality. When Chuma explained there must be a sacrifice, Minerva murdered Dr. Leavens, who had returned just long enough to free them from the cave-in and forfeit his life. After she killed him and drank his blood, the ritual began.
Even as Chuma worked tirelessly, the invaders who had destroyed the temple were returning. Minerva was transformed into Cheetah and slaughtered all the invaders once the ritual was complete. After the slaughter, she reverted to human form and took Chuma with her back to England.