Kristen Wiig will play the villain Cheetah in the 'Wonder Woman' sequel.

The 44-year-old actress has accepted the crucial role in the much-anticipated new superhero movie, which will see Gal Gadot reprise the role of Wonder Woman.

Director Patty Jenkins wrote on Twitter: ''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!!! (sic).''

Gal added: ''I'm SO excited welcome on board Kristen! This is going to be WONDERful! (sic).''

Cheetah has taken many different forms since her introduction in 1943 but Kristen is most likely to play Barbara Ann Cavendish, who has a passion for mythology and multiple archaeology degrees.

The sequel, like the original movie, will be a period piece, set towards the end of the Cold War.

There is also still a possibility that Chris Pine - whose on-screen character was killed off in the first movie - could make an unlikely return to the franchise.

'Wonder Woman' proved to be a huge box office success in 2017, helping to establish Gal as one of the most sought-after female stars in the movie business.

And director Patty previously admitted to being shocked by how well received her movie was.

She shared: ''I didn't really start to make the connection about the lightning rod it was going to hit until it had opened.

''I assumed that it would be seen just as a superhero film.''