Kristen Wiig has spent years making America laugh on SNL and as the lead in the hit comedy Bridesmaids, but now she’s ready to test out a new genre: action movies. The Ghostbusters star was just cast as the lead villain in the Wonder Woman sequel and will transform into a formidable opponent to Gal Gadot’s badass character.
“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,” director Patty Jenkins wrote on Twitter Friday, confirming that Wiig will take on the character of Cheetah.
Gadot also expressed her excitement: “I’m SO excited. Welcome on board Kristen! This is going to be WONDERful!”
In the DC Comics world, Cheetah is a feline villain who is one of Wonder Woman’s biggest nemeses, and she has the strength and speed to stand up to the superhero. According to EW, she "assumes a feline appearance, typically with cheetah-esque spots, tail, and ferocious claws to match. She also maintains feline agility and strength."
The movie’s sequel will reportedly take place during the Cold War, so Cheetah is sure to be one interesting character. Plus, the superhero film’s hero, villain, and director are all female: That's cause to celebrate.
But not all fans are happy with the casting news. There are quite a few who expressed concern about the comedian’s ability to play a terrifying villain when her résumé is filled with roles that make people laugh. While Wonder Woman did have comedic elements (Gal Gadot had us cackling out loud in that dress shop), that’s not the primary genre of the film.
Some fans also expressed concern that the role had been racially white-washed, as a cheetah is a wildcat from parts of Africa and Asia. Though to be fair, human races don't exactly apply to animals and Cheetah's main alter-ego from the comics Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva has been portrayed as white.
As an Oscar-nominated actress, we have no doubt that Wiig will be able to crush this role and convince us all that she’s actually a terrifying cheetah villain IRL. OK, maybe not that last part, but surely she has the acting chops to help carry Wonder Woman’s sequel on to be just as successful as the original.