After a tumultuous production filled with script issues and lamentable costume choices, NBC has declined David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman pilot. The series will not be joining NBC's new shows this fall.
It seems that a trio of costumes and some last-minute shooting and script adjustments weren't enough to save the hopeful super-heroine series. Fan reaction to leaked production photos and Ally McBeal-like scripts has been almost universally dour, and the first reveal of Wonder Woman's costume only served to fuel the fire.
News of Kelley's intent to reboot the recognizable Wonder Woman character with his signature female-friendly style ebbed out in the fall of last year. After being turned down for a pilot order by every major broadcast network (including NBC), the peacock network picked up the pilot in January.
Casting and pre-production began immediately, with Friday Night Lights starlet Adrianne Palicki set to play the titular Amazonian princess and Elizabeth Hurley cast as Wonder Woman's long-time arch enemy, Veronica Cale. Other cast members announced included Cary Elwes and Justin Bruening, while Jeffrey Reiner (The Event, Friday Night Lights) was set to direct the pilot.
NBC shelved the pilot today, shutting down the Warner Bros. TV-produced project. Sources inside the network claim that executives weren't impressed with the initial episode and decided against a series based on negative fan reaction on the internet over the last few months.
Something felt off about the Wonder Woman project ever since it was announced. Not that Diana of Themyscira isn't a worthy character; she's entertained comic book readers for almost seventy years and spawned a cult classic live-action TV show in the 1970s starring Lynda Carter. Some still consider Carter's portrayal to be the definitive Wonder Woman, and elements from the series have made their way back into the comics and animated versions of the character.
No, the truth is that Kelley probably wasn't the right man to bring Wonder Woman to fruition. Between moving the character to over-done Los Angeles, introducing a confusing triple identity, and making Diana a more vulnerable, relatable and somewhat powered-down hero, the new version simply wasn't shaping up to honor Wonder Woman's history. Not that Kelley isn't a skilled producer, far from it; he just wasn't familiar enough with the type of show that fans were craving.
While it's possible that the series could get picked up by another network (like The CW, a Warner Bros. partner), viewers shouldn't hold their collective breath. Even so, many die-hard Wonder Woman fans may be relieved that this manifestation won't make it to the airwaves. Oh well - at least there's the rumored movie to hope for.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider
Source: Entertainment Weekly
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