David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman Pilot:What We Know So Far
The Amazing Amazon has been grabbing headlines since the announcement that Warner Bros. Television commissioned David E. Kelley to pen the pilot script for a possible new Wonder Woman tv series.
Excitement was high after the initial announcement and Wonder Woman began trending almost immediately on Yahoo. After several attempts to launch feature film adaptations of the Amazon Princess failed, including one by Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator Joss Whedon, fans rejoiced to hear that she could be making a triumphant return to television this fall on NBC.
However, many have questioned whether Kelley, best known for courtroom dramas such as Ally McBeal and The Practice, was the best choice to bring the comic book icon back to the small screen for a new generation.
An early draft of Kelley’s script has fallen into the hands of several reviewers around the web and a clearer picture of the possible new series has begun to take shape.
Fans of the Wonder Woman comic books and beloved 1970s television series may want to readjust their expectations for Kelley’s take on the Amazing Amazon. This version of Wonder Woman is unlike any that has come before.
MTV.com revealed the pilot’s main star and the cast list sheet earlier this week. Adrianne Palicki, star of Friday Night Lights, has been confirmed as the new Wonder Woman- a role that launched Lynda Carter’s career when she played Dina Prince/Wonder Woman in the popular television series of the '70s. However, unlike the Wonder Woman of yesterday, Kelley’s take on the Amazon Princess has her juggling three identities- kick-ass superhero Wonder Woman, Powerful C.E.O. Diana Themyscira, and vulnerable Diana Prince. Luckily, Palicki brings several years of television experience to the show’s lead role, experience that will be needed to bring three distinct characters to life. Reaction to the casting of Palicki has been positive for the most part, with many fans praising the choice.
Other characters that round out the show’s key players are a mix of new and old. Fans of the comic books and original tv show will be familiar will several names listed as series regulars, but be warned, the cast sheet descriptions reveal characters who share very little in common with their namesakes. No actors have been cast for these roles at this time, but Steve Trevor, Myndi Mayer, and Etta (assumed to be Etta Candy), will join Henry Demeter and Ed Indelicato as the show’s regulars if the pilot is picked up.
Unfortunately, early reviews of the script have not been favorable. Jace Lacob labeled Kelley’s new Wonder Woman “a monumental misstep” in his review of the script for thedailybeast.com. Pajama parties, body issues, and a fight sequence set to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” are only a few of the cringe-worthy moments set to play out over the course of the pilot episode. The strong, independent, feminist icon that Wonder Woman has been for 70 years is nowhere to be seen in Kelley’s script. Instead, the new Wonder Woman is a lovelorn whiner who appears to be more concerned with the size of her breasts than fighting crime. Additionally, the script appears to be light on action and heavy on predictable dramatic elements found in Kelley’s previous series- placing the show closer to the realm of Ally McBeal than that of a superhero.
No word yet on whether Wonder Woman will don her classic costume in the series or something closer to the current redesign she's sporting in the comics, but the appearance of her signature bracelets and lasso of truth have been confirmed.
A promising list of characters and a solid choice for the series lead will be great selling points when NBC evaluates the pilot for a possible series later this year. However, Kelley’s script has the potential to derail the project if it’s as bad as early reviews indicate.
Hopefully director Jeffrey Reiner and a much needed rewrite will be able to save the new Wonder Woman series before it becomes another failed attempt to revive the DC Comics icon.