It’s Cool That Kristen Wiig Is Cheetah, but Were There No Women of Color Available?
It has been announced that Kristen Wiig is going to be playing the Wonder Woman villain Cheetah in the upcoming sequel to Wonder Woman.
Kristen Wiig is a fantastic actress and Patty Jenkins has earned all kinds of goodwill in my book by the multiple ways that Wonder Woman worked.
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
That being said, one of the things that I was looking forward to was there being more (a) women and (b) women of color in the upcoming movie. Cheetah was one of the places they could have infused that necessary into the movie.
And before I hear you all say: Oh are you saying you would have been okay with a person of color being turned into an animal monster? My answer is yes if it was done well. Cheetah is an established villain, her history isn’t race-based so unless they turned into a problematic issue, I don’t see the problem. Also, we need more black supervillains that aren’t just fighting other black people. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited about Hannah John-Kamen’s turn as Ghost in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp film.
Another thing I hear you saying: Why does it have to be about race? shouldn’t they just pick the best person for the job? Sure, but considering that Patty Jenkins is about feminism and all of Hollywood is talking about “inclusion riders” this would have been an important way to show inclusion. I’m not saying they need to hire a lesser actress, but there are plenty of non-white actresses who would have been great for this role. They proved they don’t need a big name to sell this movie, so why not use that as a chance to build the careers of other young actresses?
Still, focusing on what we do have, Kristen Wiig is a strong actress and I think comic book movie history has told us that just because an actor is known for one thing, doesn’t mean they can’t deliver. Don’t forget that Michael Keaton was known as a comedic actor before he did Batman ’89.
Let’s hope this version of Cheetah is less Priscilla Rich and more Barbara Ann Cavendish.
So on the one hand, yay a great actress is a part of what’s going to be one of the biggest sequels of next year! On the other hand, we need more female diversity in Wonder Woman outside of Themyscira.
What do you think of the casting? Are you excited to see just how animalistic they go with Cheetah?
(via i09, image: Screengrab)
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