Wonder Woman back in development for TV

Warners hasn’t given up on getting Wonder Woman on the small screen, Vulture reports and it seems that this time they are taking a radically innovative approach: letting a writer who actually knows and likes the character take a crack at crafting an origin story that sticks with what people like about the character. Crazy you say? Maybe, but post Avengers, what we’ll call the Whedon maneuver makes a lot of sense.
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In this case, writer Allan Heinberg, who has a strong resume in both writing Wonder Woman and writing TV soap operas with teen appeal, will take a crack at writing a pilot, which will be an origin story called Amazon.

Unlike past TV incarnations, it will focus on Wonder Woman as a young, budding superhero, rather than a fully formed defender of liberty. (Think Smallville, but instead of a “no tights, no flights” rule, this show might have a “no bracelets, no crown” mandate.)
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If Amazon ultimately takes off, however, CW does seem the right environment for bringing back Wonder Woman: The network has a long history of successful sci-fi/superhero shows (it aired the last few seasons of WB import Smallville; Arrow launches this season) and its female-centric lineup seems a natural home for one of pop culture’s leading feminist icons. As long as there’s not a campy World War II subplot or any mention of Wonder Woman dolls, we’re interested to see what develops.


WB’s previous take on Wonder Woman was the much-maligned version by David E. Kelley who turned in something that should have been called “Ally McWonder Legal,” and focused more on boardrooms and slumber parties than Amazon lore.

Comments

  1. I didn’t think the last pilot was that bad. I’ve seen far worse on TV (and a lot of it). My biggest gripe with the pilot was WW torturing and killing people with her lasso of truth.

    As for the businesswoman approach… it was okay, after all, what else does an amazon do while not fighting? Nobody seemed to mind that Bruce Wayne is an established businessman / millionaire using his money and company to fund his heroic endeavors.

    Also, it was only a pilot. Not many shows ever look like their initial pilot. When it comes to WW, at this point, it would be nice to at least get a foot in the door before being (yet again) dismissed.

  2. likefunbutnot says:

    Wanna know what would be a way, WAY more interesting TV show than anything about Wonder Woman?

    A show about the character’s creator, William Moulton Marsten. Seriously. Read up on Wikipedia. Invented important stuff. Had lots of interesting proto-feminist ideas. Clearly had a thing for bondage. Plus a polyamorous relationship with two women who remained partnered even long after his death.

    Nothing in the history of Wonder Woman suggest anything even remotely that compelling.

  3. nWoJeffDW says:

    Why does Warner Bros. seem determine to give us super-hero shows without the super-hero? Smallville got real old real fast. Arrow isn’t exactly calling any comic readers name.

    What’s wrong with having an actual show with a super-hero and super-villains? It works in the movies. Oh wait, that’s only for Marvel. DC seems to think that their characters need to be dark and edgy for the movies.

  4. I seem to recall that Allan Heinberg barely wrote any Wonder Woman issues before endless delays and commitments to TV eventually made him abandon the comic’s relaunch altogether. And didn’t Donna Troy star as WW in most of his issues?

  5. faustino perez says:

    I loved Heinberg’s Young Avengers so this could work. I’ll believe it when I see it, though. And I’ll probably never see it.

  6. Blacaucasian says:

    @likefunbutnot – I would respectfully disagree. Cult shows like Xena and Hercules show there is definitely an audience for this type of thing and modernizing it is only going to expand the potential audience for a character like this. The real problem is humanizing her, which Allan Heinberg has shown a history of being able to do both in comics and TV.”Buffitizing” (for lack of a better term) Diana not onlly potentially reintroduces a new generation to the character, but also allows her stories to be told and framed in an entirely new way.

    @nWoJeffDW – The problem is trying to make these ideas work on weekly basis in the television arena means a suspicion of disbelief, something that cynical viewers of today have less and less of an ability to do. The Lois and Clark days of people flying around in spandex, especially in the 26 hour long world of TV, are over. The more (relatively)realistic you can make a show like this, the more people are going to buy in. Even the Shield pilot that Whedon is working on appears to be more in the Alias-Espionage vein and less in the tights and capes movie world Marvel has set up.

    KET- While his run on Wonder Woman may have had mixed reviews, and was definitely plagued by a delayed schedule, his love, admiration, and respect for the character is well documented. This seems like a way better step in the right direction then what David Kelley was doing with the character. Instead of squeezing the character into a world the writer is familiar with, Heinberg is more likely to be able to and will work the other way around. If people like Joss Whedon and Chris Nolan taught us nothing, it’s that if you have a creative voice who’s Venn diagrams run between passion for the work and respect for the character, more often then not you’re going to be successful.

  7. Gina Carano as Wonder Woman would be perfect.

  8. Charles Knight says:

    “Why does Warner Bros. seem determine to give us super-hero shows without the super-hero? Smallville got real old real fast.”

    Except it ran for ten seasons so from their perspective, it was a complete success (current lawsuits aside).

  9. “Instead of squeezing the character into a world the writer is familiar with, Heinberg is more likely to be able to and will work the other way around.”

    Except that this is not what is being proposed. It’s using Smallville as a template for bringing Wonder Woman to the small screen, and frankly, that appears to merely be ‘Kelley’s approach, Part II’ rather than anything novel. So we should probably expect to be seeing Diana mimicking Carrie Bradshaw rather than Ally McBeal, or heaven forfend, a proper Amazon princess/warrior.

  10. ansic says:

    When do we get the article about Grant Morrison talking about Wonder Woman and bondage. Whoops wrong site (s)

  11. blacaucasian says:

    “Except that this is not what is being proposed. It’s using Smallville as a template for bringing Wonder Woman to the small screen, and frankly, that appears to merely be ‘Kelley’s approach, Part II’ rather than anything novel. So we should probably expect to be seeing Diana mimicking Carrie Bradshaw rather than Ally McBeal, or heaven forfend, a proper Amazon princess/warrior.”

    I don’t know how you parsed that from “Unlike past TV incarnations, it will focus on Wonder Woman as a young, budding superhero, rather than a fully formed defender of liberty” but each person has their own interpretations I suppose.

    I’m not sure you watched Smallville either, because the similarities between Smallville and and David E Kelley show or Sex and the City are little and none. Smallville, especially in the early years of the show, managed to adapt much of the standard Superman mythology to their own, not unlike what Nolan did with his trilogy, while still staying essential true to the concept of Superman, all while not physically calling him Superman till the show’s finale. If it indeed mimics Smallville, we will be getting, as the article notes, her days developing into a hero. There’s no reason to believe Heinberg, who again is very passionate about the character, won’t find a way to adapt her comic history into something that could be adapted for a wider larger audience.

    Let’s also remember, in order to be deemed a successful show, it needs to appeal beyond the (relative to an average TV audience)small core audience that exists for the character.

    As far as the show being a failure, I would have to agree with the poster above. Not many hour long dramas make it beyond 2 or 3 years, never mind make it to 10 like Smallville did, especially an effects heavy show like it was. You can hardly call that a failure.

  12. faustino perez says:

    iS one allowed to reference another site here? If so, may I say Chris Sims has chosen a particularly appropriate foto. (aND PERHAPS, created an inadvertant meme.)

    WONDER WOMAN IS NOT AMUSED.

    (AND Y’ALL KNOW she gonna bust out them lame-ass chains and TEACH YOU THE POWER OF SUBMISSION!)

    I dunno, I’m crap at creating memes …

  13. faustino perez says:
  14. faustino perez says:

    Rob Bricken, NOT Chris Sims. Topless Robot, NOT Comics Alliance. (WHAT? I’M old enough (and drunk enough!) to remember used bookstores. NOW YOU WANT TO ASK ME TO LEARN HOW TO USE A COMPUTER?!)

    … sorry. I’m sorry.

  15. The Beat says:

    Faunstino: It is okay to quote another site WHEN IT IS THE RIGHT SITE!!!!!
    Just kidding. Link away.

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