One of the most anticipated blockbusters this year, Wonder Woman 1984, has not one but two villains driving the plot. The cunning mastermind Maxwell Lord, played by Pedro Pascal, and the murderous and powerful Barbara Ann Minerva aka Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig. During a recent interview with Empire Magazine, director of the movie Patty Jenkins revealed the motivation behind Barbara's transformation into a villain.

"What makes Barbara turn into Cheetah is feeling like she's never been as good as someone like Diana. She reminds me of certain people I've known who have such low self-confidence, that they're always holding themselves back. Then once they start to embrace change, out comes this ugly resentment built up over all those years."
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The Wonder Woman 1984 trailer has already confirmed that Barbara and Diana aka Woman Woman start the film as friends. We also see that Barbara has a romantic relationship with the king of infomercials and secret bad guy Maxwell Lord. Somewhere down the line, sandwiched in between a guy who is presumably manipulating her for his own profit, and her friend Diana who makes her feel inferior, Barbara will transform into Wonder Woman's arch-enemy, the shape-shifting Cheetah.

The character of Cheetah has been a mainstay of Wonder Woman comics for decades and has had four different alter egos in that time. Barbara Ann Minerva from the comics was a neurotic and ambitious heiress, who stumbled across an ancient artifact during an archeological dig which granted her the powers of the Cheetah.

It is hinted that the movie will follow the same trajectory for the character, with Patty Jenkins stating that the story will feature gods and lore from places other than greek mythology, and it is presumably these other gods who will grant Minerva her superpowers and bring her into conflict with Diana.

Another significant part of the narrative puzzle teased in the trailer is the seemingly resurrected Steve Trevor, Diana's love interest from the first film who died a hero's death at the end of the movie. Diana is shown to still be pining for Steve during the events of Justice League, set in present times, which means the Steve who shows up in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, set in 1984, is either a fake, an illusion, or doomed to once again die by the end of the film.

Fans are looking forward to seeing all these questions answered once they finally get to see the movie, whenever that might be. Warner Bros. is committed to showing Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters, but considering the current state of theaters chains gathering dust in the midst of the lockdown, it seems unlikely that big-budget movies will be returning to the big screen any time soon.

Putting the film on digital VOD means suffering massive losses on investment, which would add further troubles to the woes facing major studios dealing with stalled productions and close-to-zero box office earnings. At this juncture, it would truly take a Wonder Woman to turn things around and make the film a success for both fans as well as the studio.

Neeraj Chand