I’ve been curious about Wonder Woman 1984 for a reason I realize is pretty dumb: I want to know if Kristen Wiig is going to wear a jungle cat furry suit.
And even after the trailer dropped, the question remains.
I’ve been low-key following the movie’s production history since March of 2018, when Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins announced Wiig was co-starring in Wonder Woman 1984 on Twitter in March of 2018.
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. #Cheetah!!! @GalGadot pic.twitter.com/Gn0jICiIAH
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) March 9, 2018
Wiig was an interesting choice for a big budget superhero sequel villain. While Wiig has taken on dramatic roles throughout her film career, the Bridesmaids star is primarily known for comedic work. Her dramatic roles have mostly been in independent films and her most high-profile foray into multimillion dollar studio franchise-making was the polarizing and financially underperforming Ghostbusters remake.
Moreover, she was an interesting choice to play this particular supervillain, Wonder Woman bad guy Cheetah. In the ‘80s kids’ cartoon Superfriends, Cheetah was an off-brand Catwoman villainess a skintight jungle cat costume and made a lot of cat puns (ie: “the plan is going purr-fectly”). In the comics and the early 2000s Justice League cartoon and the recent DC cartoons have her as an Island of Dr. Moreau-like human/cat hybrid with feline super powers.
I’ve wondered how Wiig would look in the movie as Cheetah. For the sake of ‘80s nostalgia, would she look like ‘80s cartoon lady in a catsuit Cheetah? Or would they adhere to the modern genetically modified cat lady look? Both options seem ridiculous. But they’re both plausible. We’re deep into the age of superhero movies. Long gone are the days of putting superheroes in matching black leather outfits and making onscreen jokes about the spandex costumes they wore in print, a la the original X-Men movies. Audiences have been so conditioned to absurd superhero characters in movies that Peter Dinklage’s appeared as a cosmic giant in Avengers: Endgame and audiences accepted it without peals of laughter. Maybe movie studios figure we can deal with a cat lady without freaking out.
There’s been very little information about what Cheetah would look like in the movie, though. In June, 2018, Jenkins tweeted a picture of Wiig in Wonder Woman 1984. Wiig is standing in the middle of a museum wearing baggy 1980s-style preppy clothing. I assumed it was a picture from early in the movie before she’s bitten by a radioactive jungle cat or whatever else turns her into Cheetah.
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) June 27, 2018
Over a year passed without a picture of Cheetah or anything else from the movie. This weekend, the trailer was released at last. There was a big outfit reveal, but it was for Wonder Woman’s golden armor, not Cheetah. Wiig appears in two outfits, in that same baggy sweater and a new form-fitting cocktail dress. Disappointingly, neither are particularly cat related.
In a movie poster released with the trailer, Wiig wears an ‘80s-style snakeskin jacket over an animal print dress. It’s a red flag that the filmmakers took the coward’s route. Instead of giving audiences a Kristen Wiig in a goofy spotted tan catsuit or motion capturing her for some ludicrous human animal hybrid, they might just put her in animal print clothes and act like having her change from awkward Kristen Wiig in a baggy sweater into glamorous Kristen Wiig in a cocktail dress is enough of a transformation.
Hopefully, she’ll at least make one groan-worthy pun about her plan working “purr-fectly” or something.