It’s safe to say that even before the pilot had been screened for NBC executives, David E. Kelley’s take on Wonder Woman had already been met with a healthy dose of scorn, as evidenced by the rather negative outcry over images of actress Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) in full Wonder Woman garb, which caused the production to go back and alter the costume in response.
But it was all for naught, as it seemed no manner of costume redesign, or tweaking would be able to fix the issues that were at the forefront of the show. And so, after taking a look at Kelley’s pilot, NBC summarily passed on the project, opening the door for the CW to take a swing at the Amazonian princess with a prequel series, aptly titled Amazon – which fits well into the network’s single-word naming convention that sidesteps any direct mention of a particular hero, as it did with Smallville and now Arrow.
Despite the setback, Kelley hasn’t exactly remained mum on his Wonder Woman project, as the Boston Legal creator discussed the comic heroine and the problems that he faced tackling a genre outside the normal David E. Kelley purview, e.g., comic books and superheroes. Recently, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kelley mentioned why he would have liked more time with the character; why now is the right time for the CW to move ahead with their interpretation; and what likely led to his pilot’s downfall.
For starters, Kelley acknowledges that problems existed with the finished product, but assumed there would be a chance to correct them, as he’s been able to with other series in the past.
“We made mistakes with ours. My only regret is we were never given a chance to correct them. We had a lot that was right about it and a great cast. In time, we could have fixed what we had done wrong, we just didn’t get that chance. All my series have been a work in progress to a certain extent where you figure them out by episodes three, four or five. This one actually gelled sooner than any that I have had in the past. We would have gotten there and I wish we were afforded a little more time. I do believe in the potential of the series and I wish [the CW] well with it. I think it could be a great success.”
With only a cursory glance over Kelley’s past projects, you can easily see why there might be something of a learning curve for the creator on a special effects-driven series like Wonder Woman. But it wasn’t just the effects, as Kelley states; it was the genre elements that were new to him as well – something else he felt would have improved as the series progressed.
“We produced it at warp speed and it’s a special effects show and it took more time than we were able to give it. We [would have been] able to give it more time and extended it had we been picked up. Just learning the storytelling — the genre was very different for me and I had a lot to learn; my learning curve probably would have gotten better. I’m sad we didn’t get to do it but I do believe it can work for the CW. They’re smart to try it.”
But would Kelley try it again, if given the chance? Apparently, he’s still keen on the idea, as a means of testing himself with a very specific challenge – though Kelley jokingly points out that should he ever take a swing at the comic book genre again, he might just call in a favor from a fellow writer and producer who has recently proven himself to be pretty adept at the superhero game.
“I would. It’s different for me; it’s a genre that I have a lot to learn about. At this point in your life, everybody should do something that they’re scared of; I was a little scared of it, I remain a little scared of it and be happy to wade into the fear again. If I were going to do a superhero franchise, I’d probably call Joss Whedon and beg him to try and do it with me! (Laughs) He’s pretty good at it.”
Chances are, we’ll ever know whether or not Kelley could have successfully improved Wonder Woman while the series progressed, but that doesn’t mean fans of the character are out of luck; they’ll just have to keep their fingers crossed that the CW fares somewhat better in its outing. As such, Screen Rant will keep you updated on all the news related to the CW’s Amazon, as it’s made available.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter