Adrianne Palicki still regrets that her Wonder Woman television series never took, but she’s glad the character is thriving on the big screen in the capable hands of Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot.
Palicki, currently starring as Commander Kelly Grayson in Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi dramedy The Orville, has been a near constant presence on television since she first wowed audiences as Tyra Collette in NBC’s classic small-town football drama, Friday Night Lights. When that series ended in 2011, Palicki’s career seemed poised to take a giant leap forward as she was cast as Wonder Woman in a small screen adaptation for NBC spearheaded television legend David E. Kelley.
To the surprise of many, the Wonder Woman series was not ordered to series by NBC, and the pilot became a much discussed misfire. In a new interview with THR, Palicki reflects on the disappointment of the show’s abrupt fate, how she still values the experience, and how she’s happy to see the character thriving without her.
“I was devastated when the pilot didn’t go. But I also look at it, like, I got paid to wear that costume. And that is one of the coolest moments of my life running down Hollywood Boulevard. Like, that was so cool. And I was — how lucky am I. And you know, everything for a reason. It led me here. You know what I mean? So as dark as those moments were back in the day, I’m happy and so glad that somebody else gets to wear that costume. I’m so glad that [Gal Gadot is] rocking it.”
The pilot has been widely circulated on the internet over the years, and it does indeed feature some truly strange story choices (Diana had three identities, one of which was a corporate titan attempting to make money off her Wonder Woman image), and the tone was clearly from a different era of superhero storytelling. The best thing about it was Palicki, who may have actually delivered a strong iteration of the character given better material. In different circumstances, it’s easy to imagine her as the Wonder Woman of the Arrowverse.
This isn’t Palicki’s only brush with an ill-fated superhero pilot. Following a well received stint on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Bobbi Morse, Palicki and co-star Nick Blood were to star in a spinoff called Marvel’s Most Wanted, but that too never materialized. The Orville at least made it past the pilot stage, so maybe Palicki’s luck is turning around.
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