New Wonder Woman Show Is Scrapped……

Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman
Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman

Hey, remember that Wonder Woman show by David E. Kelly? You know the one – it was going to star Adrianne Palicki, Elizabeth Hurley was going to be the villain in the pilot and we could expect to see it debut this fall?

Well, that’s not going to happen.

After what seemingly looked like Wonder Woman’s return to television NBC declined to pick up Kelly’s show and no series has been ordered. Speculation of negative reaction by fans, along with a less than steller pilot episode has been attributed to the show getting nixed by the network.

Being one of DC Comics ‘Big Three’ and the most famous superheroine ever, hasn’t ensured Wonder Woman’s live-action exposure. The new proposed show seemed like it would ultimately get the character back into the limelight and could have possibly set the stage for a theatrical film if the series proved the character popular and successful enough to warrant it.

However, this wasn’t meant to be.

After releasing photos of Palicki in costume fans reactions were lukewarm at best. Pictures taken during filming of Palicki in an altered costume didn’t help either. Complaints about changes made to the appearance of the iconic character just didn’t seem to get anyone excited. Sure I can understand making some changes to a characters costumes, but it really is a dicey thing to tinker with for such a universally recognized costume by fans.

The scripts were also a source of concern, reading more like “Abby McBeal-like” stories than the adventures of Princess Diana of Themyscira.

Palicki was said to have been the only actress called to read for the role. She’s best known for her role as Tyra on Friday Night Lights. She’s also appeared on Supernatural, South Beach and Lone Star. Looking for any past superhero connections? Oddly enough, she appeared in Smallville and the failed Aquaman pilot from 2007. There’s some interesting DC connections.

A new version of Wonder Woman has been kicking around for years. First, as a big-budget film by producer Joel Silver for the last decade that never picked up steam for whatever reasons. The most recent news about the Wonder Film was Joss Whedon, who was set to write and direct the film, eventually leaving the project after Warner Brothers apparently didn’t agree with his take on the character. Since then Whedon signed up to direct Marvel’s The Avengers film and Wonder Woman has been left in never-ending ‘development’ limbo.

Then we got wind of a new television series. When I first heard the news it immediately seemed like a compromise. Since the film wasn’t going anywhere, an alternative plan was hatched. The character is too valuable a commodity to not do anything with, so let’s give her a TV show.

Lyle Waggoner & Wonder Woman

Besides some animated adventures, Wonder Woman has been absent in television and film. The last we saw a real Wonder Woman productionwas in the 1975-79 series famously starring Lynda Carter. Her getting a new series is somewhat a surprise since fans had been following the rumors of a big budget film for years.

A television show did seem to work with the recent news of Wonder Woman being given an updated costume in the comics. It looks more digestible to see an actress wearing it and much easier to adapt to a live action actress to kick ass in.

Of course the comic character will go back to her original costume at some point. It’s just a publicity device to get people talking about the character. Don’t believe for a second DC would completely throw away the iconic character’s costume no matter what anyone says. And if so, just sign over the rights to me if you guys really don’t plan on using it anymore. Yeah, let’s see who fliches first….

So, Palicki was to have been the newest incarnation of Diana Prince. This “reinvention” of the character was supposed to be a successful corporate executive in Los Angeles trying to balance being a modern woman with her superheroics.

Actor Cary Elwes signed on to play the CEO of Thermyscira Industries, the company Diana Prince owns. He was going to run things while she’s off doing some superheroing stuff. He was also rumored to be a love interest for Diana. The show would have focused on three identities for the character with each one having a lover interest. I suppose they would be Diana Prince, Princess Diana and Wonder Woman.

British actress/model Elizabeth Hurley had been cast as a villainess in the pilot episode. Hurley would have played Veronica Cale,a “beautiful, highly educated head of one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the country who is afflicted with serious deep-seated Wonder Woman envy.”

Although Hurley’s role was said to be a one-time guest starring stint, it would be a good guess that if the show got picked up she could become a recurring character.

From the way things started to sound the show didn’t seem too promising. The whole – ‘Diana is a CEO of her own company in Los Angeles’, might have made filming easier, but it just didn’t feel like the character. Or even a creative way to update her.

Giving her three identities that we got to follow every episode also seemed like too much. Two identities are more than enough and could create plenty of drama and stories if handled the right way. It might have been fun for Palicki to play three characters, but I’m not sure it would have been as fun to watch.

I cynically forsaw a cheesy action television show that strayed so far away from the comic character, the show essentially would become another interchangable version of a ‘La Femme Nikita/Alias/Bionic Woman’ action series and would lose the uniqueness of the character and her mythology. Apparently a lot of fans felt the same way.

So Wonder Woman continues to be absent from the live action arena once again, until someone, somewhere figures out the perfect way to bring her to life before the cameras…..

  [Blog archived from May 2011]

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