With Warner Bros.’ Gal Gadot-starring Wonder Woman poised to dominate the box office this weekend, many fans have been fondly recalling the DC Comics hero’s first live action adaptation. For a generation of fans, Lynda Carter’s depiction of the Amazonian hero on the television screen was, and remains, the version that pops into their heads whenever they hear her name. But, if producer William Dozier (of Adam West’s Batman fame) had had his way, audiences would have been subjected to a very different take on the classic hero.
The pilot for Dozier’s failed attempt at a Wonder Woman sitcom, filmed in 1967, starred Ellie Wood Walker as the titular hero and presented the character in a Bewitched-style setting. The still-single superhero lives with her nagging mother, is obsessed with Steve Trevor and can’t even read a newspaper without falling off the sofa.
In just five-minutes, the pilot manages to squeeze in jokes about Diana’s unmarried status, her age (27 million years old!), and being just too darn smart to land a man. As a capper, once she changes into her World War II-era costume, Wonder Woman spends nearly a minute and a half admiring herself in the mirror (her reflection was played by Planet of the Apes‘ Linda Harrison) as the narrator reveals “she knows has the strength of Hercules, she knows she has the wisdom of Athena, who knows she has the speed of Mercury… and who thinks she has the beauty of Aphrodite.” Yes, the audience is meant to buy into the joke that the potential star of her own show is a ditzy, unattractive joke.
Director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, arriving in theaters this weekend, stars Gal Gadot as Diana, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff, David Thewlis as Ares, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Elena Anaya as Doctor Poison and Lucy Davis as Etta Candy.
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