Wonder Woman 1984: Cheetah's Fate Was Left Deliberately Ambiguous
While Wonder Woman 1984 might not be a critical darling like the first movie was, and the numbers coming out about HBO Max are still a bit nebulous, whatever the movie did numbers-wise, Warner Bros. must be pretty happy because they announced a third movie in the trilogy and confirmed that star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins would be returning. Normally, we wouldn't have any idea what to expect from a third movie mere days after the second came out, but we might have an idea in this case. Jenkins did an interview with The Hollywood Reporter back in January 2019, and she said that the then hypothetical third movie would take place in the present day.
"I'm not set, but I'm not doing another period piece," Jenkins said. "It's definitely one of the things we talked about. I'm not planning to put it in the past again, because where are you going to go? You have to go forward. It's definitely a contemporary story. That's all I can say. Where we put it and how that gets figured out, I haven't totally nailed down."
As for what characters could return for the third movie, one of them is up in the air. This requires a SPOILER WARNING for the fate of Cheetah at the end of Wonder Woman 1984, so if you haven't watched the movie, don't read beyond this image of Kristen Wiig looking fabulous.
At the end of Wonder Woman 1984, Diana uses the Lasso of Truth to convince the world to rescind their wishes, including our main villain Max Lord. However, how all of these things work is a bit confusing. It's unclear whether Max rescinding his wish negates all of the wishes anyone made via him after he gained the stone's powers or if everyone needed to individually rescind their wishes. We never see Barbara actually rescind her wish, but we do see her sitting and looking at the sun appearing back in her human form. However, her transformation into Cheetah was part of a second wish, and we don't know if she rescinded both of her wishes. She could have kept the "I want to be like Diana" wish, which would have let Barbara keep her powers. We don't know, and according to an interview by Den of Geek with Jenkins, that was intentional.
"I have my reasons for making it ambiguous, and I think it's not clear what her point of view [is] on everything that just happened … I love that we wrap up Max Lord's point of view, and that you see the culmination of that storyline, I think is so important. But the truth is there may or may not be more to come [for Barbara]."
Wonder Woman 1984 had a lot of problems, but one of the bigger ones was how little of a role Barbara actually played. She was little more than a henchman for Max, and she deserved better. Maybe she'll get treated better in the last movie in the trilogy; if she does have Diana's powers, then Barbara is just as immortal as Diana is, and we don't have to worry about making Wiig look older.
Summary: Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman's next big-screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
Wonder Woman 1984, directed by Patty Jenkins, stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, and Gabriella Wilde. It was released on December 25th in theaters and on HBO Max.