There are many failed television pilots every year, and some of them are rapidly forgotten, and some not even discussed. NBC’s Wonder Woman pilot has built up a bit of folklore around it, and star Adrianne Palicki is finally sharing some info on it.
Palicki has had her share of comic book and sci-fi projects including a turn as Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Commander Kelly Grayson on The Orville. Her biggest potential role came in 2011 when she was cast as Wonder Woman in a David E. Kelly series based on the character.
On being cast as the character, Palicki told Entertainment Weekly, “It was honestly the scariest thing ever and the best thing ever at the time. Getting to wear that outfit was just a huge dream.” It became frightening when she found out her childhood crush Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) would be involved. “I walk in one day and it’s Cary Elwes. And I’m like, ‘I can’t read with him. He was Wesley. He was the love of my life at one point!’ I was so nervous. Thankfully, he was a shoo-in and we got to work together and I got to hear all of the amazing stories about Princess Bride.”
The pilot had a complicated setup wherein Palicki had two public personas – Wonder Woman and corporate alter-ego Diana Themyscira – and a third, private alter ego of Diana Prince. “It was fun for me to get to play three different characters ultimately,” said Palicki. “I loved that David E. Kelley is really great at writing really strong women, and I found he did that beautifully in all of the different personas. What they all still had [in common] was this beautiful vulnerability of isolation.”
“The stans — being one as well — have very strong opinions, and it’s really important, especially in the comic-book community, to win them over. I was very nervous about that—[and] also very beautifully shocked and pleased that people were very supportive of me getting the role, obviously having not seen the show,” said Palicki. “I was lucky enough to have a beautiful writer and my buddy [pilot director] Jeffrey Reiner, who I trust implicitly and is never gonna just settle on a scene if it isn’t perfect. That made me feel much more comfortable. I felt like we were all a team and it wasn’t just me pushing for this.”
Ultimately NBC passed on the pilot, and everyone moved on from the project. Oddly enough, one actor in the pilot ended up coming back to the Wonder Woman world as Pedro Pascal played her LAPD liaison and plays Maxwell Lord in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984.
The interview is well worth checking out to learn a bit more about this small slice of DC television history.
SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly