The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog and Deadline are reporting Wonder Woman is returning to television. According to the Heat Vision article, “Warner Bros. Television is developing a modern-day reboot of the classic DC comic book heroine and is lassoing an unlikely talent to potentially write and produce the superhero project: David E. Kelley.” Kelly produced and created such shows as “Boston Legal”, “Picket Fences”, and “Chicago Hope.”
Wonder Woman was last seen in live action in the late 1970s in the form of Lynda Carter. That version still echoes through the minds of viewers with its campy theme song, odd sound effects and the character’s quick-change twirling power. The TV version aired from 1975 to 1979 and remained in syndication for many years.
A film version of “Wonder Woman” has been under development for ten years under the supervision of Joel Silver. As late as last year, the producer said attempts were still being made to draft a script that would meet his satisfaction. At one time, “Buffy: the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon was tapped to write and direct the film, but he eventually left the project. The Heat Vision article quotes Whedon as saying, “They just didn’t like my take.”
While it has been some time since the character has been seen in live action, Wonder Woman featured in both the “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited” series. Susan Eisenberg provided the voice. She returned to the part recently in the direct-to-video feature “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.” The character also had her own direct-to-video release with actress Keri Russell voicing the Amazon. Unfortunately, poor sales of that title have cooled efforts to make any more “Wonder Woman” video features.
That perception could cause troubles for the new series development. Heat Vision points out female-centric superhero shows have a difficult time in the market place. “Major networks have struggled to make female-driven action series work beyond superhero shows work beyond NBC’s “Heroes.” One short-lived title, NBC’s “Bionic Woman,” which was likewise best known for its 1970s TV version, [failed] and could haunt attempts to get a series launch,” they write. Of course, Kelley has a history of making long shot premises with a female lead character work. The Kelley created “Ally McBeal,” about a young female attorney, stayed on the air for five seasons on FOX between 1997 and 2002.