Fangirls and fanboys are heavily scrutinizing NBC's upcoming Wonder Woman TV Pilot from Boston Legal showrunner David E. Kelly, and aside from the recent update that McG won't be directing the pilot (a bit of good news for many Wonder Woman fans), there's been very little to report - especially in that all-important realm of casting.
While we still wait to hear who will twirl the golden lasso of the titular Amazonian princess, today we do have some news about the Wonder Woman TV show's cast of characters, thanks to a casting call list for the pilot, which has hit the Interwebs.
So what are the showrunners looking for in a Diana Prince (one of Wonder Woman's secret identities in the show) and what kind of supporting characters will we see? Check out the casting call list for yourself, and then well get to talking about how they're approaching the character of Wonder Woman/Diana and what the supporting characters around her bring to the table (or not).
First, the casting call list:
[WONDER WOMAN / DIANA THEMYSCIRA / DIANA PRINCE] Female, late 20s to 30s. A kick-ass Superhero / Powerful C.E.O. / A vulnerable woman. Long flowing black hair, blue eyes. Amazon-like, muscular, an Olympian. The charismatic stage presence of a rock star. A crime fighter. Also, a real woman who yearns to live a normal life. She is accessible and appealing to all people, men and women alike…SERIES LEAD. ASP.
[MYNDI MAYER] Female, open ethnicity, 30s. Publicist, Press Secretary and Wonder Woman’s confidant and nurturing best friend. Worldy and edgy. Sexy and persuasive, her appearance is part of her strength. She is beautiful and put together - dressed expensively in the latest fashions, plus she’s got a bit of bite, clever wit and sass. She’s the prodder of Diana’s social life…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.
[ETTA] Female, open ethnicity, 30s. Diana Themyscira’s always cheerful personal assistant. A bit charactery , but real, pretty and effervescent. She is blindly devoted to Diana. She’s her unrelenting cheerleader, with unwavering, unabated support. On the vulnerable side, she sees the humble and sympathetic sides in everyone, including Diana…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.
[CEO HENRY DEMETER] Male, open ethnicity, 40s. Acting CEO of Themyscira Industries. Grounded, intelligent and deeply devoted to Diana. He runs the day to day operations of the company and acts like an Uncle to Diana although he could be a possible love interest down the line…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.
[STEVE TREVOR] Male, open ethnicity, 30s. A leading man Diana can’t look past. Good looking but a real man. An Army vet, he now works in the Justice dept…SERIES REGULAR, ASP.
[ED INDELICATO] Male, late 30s to early 40s. Stoic and tough, he is a liaison to the police department. Devoted and loyal to Diana, he’s blue collar, a no nonsense kind of guy. A chiseled man who subscribes to the old fashion rules of relationships - men don’t talk much. His job comes first and he wouldn’t make room for the possibility that there is potential romantic relationship with Diana…SERIES REGULAR, 10/13.
The first thing I have to take issue with here, is how they're approaching Wonder Woman. In my experience, the character is a strong-willed and fiercely passionate woman - she knows who she is, what she stands for, and isn't afraid to follow the whims of her heart. Like Superman stands for American ideals, Wonder Woman has always stood for feminine ideals - i.e., strength, intelligence and passion balanced by an almost limitless well of bravery and compassion. Maybe that's what this TV pilot is going for, but to me that casting description reads like a soapy Smallville-type character, and that is not something I can stand behind.
In fact, the thought of long shots of Diana Prince staring off into space and pouting at the camera while some emo-rock tune sounds out her "complicated feelings" makes me shudder. "A real woman who yearns to live a normal life." Really? Am I wrong in my thinking that Diana is typically depicted as a proud warrior who wants normal women to stand up and be more like Amazons - and not the other way around?
The whole multiple identity approach (Wonder Woman / Diana Themyscira / Diana Prince) seems like a weak allegory for the many hats that modern women increasingly wear (career gals, family gals, crimefighters), and again, taking a character who has traditionally known who she is and what she stands for (no matter how complex that identity may be) and turning her into an (seemingly) insecure bundle of confusion...not a good look.
Secondly, ignoring the gaggle of "Uh-huh girlfriend!" supporting female characters (two sassy assistants? "Open ethnicity"? Really?) - for a superheroine who is supposed to represent feminine ideals, Diana Prince is seemingly going to be pretty preoccupied with "boy troubles." Every male supporting character listed here has 'potential love interest' tacked-on to their description. I especially love the Henry Demeter character: "...acts like an Uncle to Diana although he could be a possible love interest down the line." Yeah, because that's not a little creepy...
Finally, some of the character names are obvious allusions to various mythological figures and such, but I won't hold that corniness against the show...yet. It may be a little too early to judge, but right now I have a sinking feeling that we're going to be getting another Bionic Woman-style action soap, instead of the quality superhero show many are expecting.
Wonder Woman TV Pilot Script Review
You can judge for yourself how this rendering of Wonder Woman and the supporting characters surrounding her will translate to your TV screen by checking out this Wonder Woman TV Pilot Script Review. Read at your own risk.
I will say that the reviewer does manage to find both the good and the bad in the show - but after reading his analysis, I'm still not sure that this approach to Wonder Woman is being handled in the right way. Do you like what you read about the pilot?
Keep your fingers crossed for now fanboys/girls, and we'll keep you updated on this Wonder Woman TV pilot. Next step: finding out who gets cast in these roles. Any suggestions?