Kristen Wiig is apparently in talks to play the villain in Wonder Woman 2, which is surprising. Not that they’re casting—the movie films later this year, so it’s casting season—but that they’re talking to Kristen Wiig! If you asked me to guess who would be the villain in Wonder Woman 2, I would never in a million years guess “Kristen Wiig”. So of course I love this. It’s unexpected, it’s fresh—Wiig has never played a villain before. There are so many superhero movies, they’ve got to do fresh, unexpected things to set themselves apart. Casting someone like Wiig as a villain is a GREAT piece of thinking.
The villain is said to be Cheetah. She’s one of Wonder Woman’s classic nemeses, going all the way back to the William Moulton Marston days. Since she’s been around so long, there are several iterations of Cheetah, and there is no word on which version Wiig would be doing. I hope it’s the OG version, Priscilla Rich. She’s a socialite with a split personality who gets mad when Diana Prince upstages her one night and then makes a costume out of a cheetah-skin rug and becomes a supervillain. They can ditch the split personality, but please yes let’s keep Priscilla the socialite who is a supervillain, too. I can totally see Wiig doing that brilliantly. Have you seen her in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp? She can do a good mean girl.
Another thing we know about Wonder Woman 2 is that it’s a Cold War story set in the 1980s. You know what that means? POWER SUIT DIANA PRINCE. I didn’t love Wonder Woman as much as others—I put it on the shelf next to Captain America: First Avenger for being a great origin story that falls apart in the third act—but I like Gal Gadot enough and I like what she and Patty Jenkins did with the character enough to want to see their sequel. And it’s Jenkins’ creative vision from day one this time, with no Zack Snyder hand-me-downs. Already I’m super into everything we’ve heard from it, with POWER SUIT DIANA PRINCE and Kristen Wiig as Cheetah—whichever version.
My only hope for Wonder Woman 2 is that it gets a chance to be ABOUT women, not just FOR us. I can accept that it would not make sense for Diana to be surrounded by women within the setting of World War I. (Although I am forever bummed she didn’t get to forge an actually meaningful connection with Etta Candy.) But Wonder Woman 2 is set in the 1980s. That is the era of the glass ceiling cracking, of women excelling at work, and ladies embracing self-determination. I can’t wait to see Wonder Woman in that context. Casting a lady villain opens the door to exploring more complex relationships among women. After all, Diana didn’t even get to speak to the lady villain in Wonder Woman. I hope this time everyone has a lot more to say.
Also attached - Kristen Wiig at a friend's house in LA last week.