David E. Kelley Defends ‘Wonder Woman’ Pilot; Discusses CW’s ‘Amazon’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 30th, 2013 at 8:03 pm,

Wonder Woman in Batman vs Superman David E. Kelley Defends Wonder Woman Pilot; Discusses CWs Amazon

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.

David E. Kelley Wonder Woman David E. Kelley Defends Wonder Woman Pilot; Discusses CWs Amazon

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.”

New 52 Superman Wonder Woman David E. Kelley Defends Wonder Woman Pilot; Discusses CWs Amazon

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

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  1. If Kelly had understood the character at all, there wouldn’t have been so much to “correct”. He should be kept as far away from any future Wonder Woman projects as possible, and stick to the yuppie dramas he’s more suited for.

  2. Excuse me……”mistakes?”

    Those mistakes you made were uncorrectable no matter how much time you had to correct them……You chose a petite stick figure to represent an AMAZON Princess, the costume (even after changing it) STILL looked like something you would rent for Halloween, and you twisted WW to make her a business mogul in charge of a line of WW products which overly complicated her supposed to be “simple” and unassuming alter-ego. As BlackKnight said, you failed to even understand what the character was about.

    None of those things could have been fixed because they were built into the base concept. The best thing possible happened which was to thankfully have your pilot rejected. (Although I would still like to see it so I can laugh at just how bad it was and know with 100% certainty why NBC mercifully passed on it)

    • it’s out there if you want to watch it. I did, it wasn’t bad but it felt like the wonder woman character was just a setting for a human (law tinged) drama. The amount of time spent arguing over how to legally go about doing what she wanted coupled with the abject moments of violence probably led to the network passing on it. The casting wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be though.

    • @mongoose

      I agree with much of of your comment except this… Adrianne Palicki is 5’11″!!! For you to view her as being petite can mean only one thing. You must be a freaking giant or really tall person from a far away mystical realm.
      I actually have seen the pilot I, like you, thought I would laugh myself silly. But there were no laughs! Only the horror of having my soul pulled out of my eye ball sockets. Yes, it was that bad!!!

      • Sorry, maybe “petite” wasn’t the right word……….that should read “lithe”….so a starving, skinny model basically.

    • This sounds like a letter wrote from a woman who just got cheated on by her boyfriend… That’s how I read it.

      • sorry no, I’m not female but I DO feel cheated for getting such a crappy pilot not even NBC would pick it up. I would really like a WW show to be successful because the superhero movie/TV genre is dominated by men atm.

  3. That girl in the photo though attractive is a wrong casting as wonder woman.

  4. Your Casting was the first mistake. You need an actress who looks to be in her Mid 30′s.. Not one who can still pass for a Teenager…..

  5. Brittany Daniel should be the next wonder woman. She is amazingly hot. Muscular, and mature looking, looks like she could fight, All while being super likeable.

  6. Does anyone else think that Gina Carano would be a kick a– WW?

    • I think Gina Carano would be a good fit. She has action potential. To poster malone who suggested Brittany Daniels: I think she’s just a little too old to play the lead. Maybe she could play Hippolyte or an older sister.

      • Gina Carano is a terrible actress. Keep here far away from any wonder woman projects.

    • No, she is a terrible actress. We need someone that can act as well as do action.

      • ^^^^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^^^^^^^

        If you don’t want “The Rock” playing say Batman, then this would be the same thing (but worse since Dwayne isn’t all that bad of an actor….decent for an action star)

  7. For a generation seemingly set on reboots, this guy shoulda made her a emo dominatrix…would’ve sold in a heartbeat.

  8. Dont know why they just dont get Lucy Lawless…for the Justice League film anyway…the TV series should surely wait until the JL movie is out?

    • She’d be perfect…for Hippolyta, Diana’s mother on the island. Don’t misunderstand…I think she WOULD have been excellent years ago as Diana; I just think that she looks, presently, a bit more matronly than Wonder Woman should…not bad or “wrong”, just too “mature”.

      As for Gina Carano: I suppose she could LOOK the part and FIGHT the part, but can she ACT the part. As a gods-gifted, virtually immortal, diplomatic warrior, Diana MUST be acted by a person who can handle subtlety, tenderness, and much more than ancient weaponry and battle cries (I say this in ignorance, since I know little of Carano’s acting range…maybe she IS a good actress?).

      • I agree that Lucy Lawless could play Hippolyta. She would fit the part pretty well.
        But please no Gina Carano. She can do action well enough, but she is a terrible actress. Just pick up any move she been in and you will see how robotic and rigid she is as an actress.

      • I know she may be just a tad mature…but we are talking about a time where that can be fixed pretty damn easy with effects and I dont think id have much of a problem with that, seeing as they do it all the time these days…Im sure she can handle doing a few action sequences, she seems to me about the only woman who can be tall enough, good looking enough and can actually act.

        I seriously cannot think of anyone else, she just seems ideal.

        • Bridget Regan was a good call…or Lucy Griffiths.

  9. CW either needs to quit doing superheros or actually do them right and actually let them keep their powers

    • They’ve been doing great with Green Arrow…and their Superman alternate universe history lesson lasted ten seasons. They seem to be doing just fine by a great many fans…

  10. Bridget Regan from “Legend of the Seeker” is the perfect WW. As Archaeon points out, there are qualities beyond hot, butt-kicking that need to be carried over. Bridget’s role in Seeker was a perfect blend of that, she could hold herself in a battle when necessary, but still had her softer side.

    • I like that thought. I just looked up her statistics, and she’s 5’9″. She’s definitely beautiful, and in Seeker she had about the right complexion, hair and eye color. And she’s 30 years old, so just about right agewise, where she can be convincingly mature. I like her.

    • I can see that, yeah

  11. Most of the outcry seems to be based on Wonder Woman’s outfit, have people only just noticed? It’s the same it’s always been. These people will have a panic attack when they see Power Girl.

  12. I saw the pilot. Those NBC suits deserve a Noble Prize for killing that thing. It was hilarious though.

  13. Never blame the actor for a poor performance. It’s the director’s province and responsibility.

    David Kelley is among the chosen few whose work, like Aaron Sorkin, belong in the pantheon. Miss Whedon developed Wonder Woman as a feature-film for Warner Bros. which the studio rejected.
    A man created the character, but the issue has always been her sexuality–thereby the costume.

    WW hasn’t had an easier time in the comics. The problem (time has pointed out) is that she is more a supporting player, as she now supports Superman in print.

    As a TV series, the fundamental issues will not be address: costume, sexuality, male-driven narrative, if not casting and director.

    I am a huge fan of WW but outside of a Justice League film, I presently see no hope.

  14. The predictor on my cell wrote “Miss Wheton”; should be “Jess Whedon”. Regret the error.

  15. Warner/DC has had all of this source material for all of these characters sitting around for all of these years. It’s about time that they do something. But why in the world would David E. Kelley have been the one helming it? Hopefully this “Amazon” take will be good.

  16. can someone please tell me where I can find the Pilot online?