Saturday, January 22, 2011

BREAKING: David E Kelley Announces Plan to Brutally Mangle 70 Year-Old Woman, NBC Agrees to Broacast Footage of Event

My impetus for doing that "Big Picture" episode about Wonder Woman was the then-recent "WTF?" news about wacky-lawyer afficionado David E. Kelley pitching a TV show "reimagining" of her; and I wound up having the benefit (in terms of newsworthiness) of the piece actually airing right in the midst of said pitch apparently being turned down by... well, everyone. Myself, I took that as a lucky break - partly for the bit of extra attention (re: google results) it probably garnered my show but MOSTLY because it sounded like we'd dodged the bullet of what smelled like a pretty bad idea.

Well, not so fast.

Sez Deadline, NBC is picking up the project - seemingly based on the positive reception of Kelley's new Kathy Bates vehicle, "Harry's Law." This will come as great news for fans who've been wondering where their fix of awful television tangentially based on DC Comics properties was going to come from once "Smallville" ends.

Y'know... these days, reporting on the development of "geek properties" into movies produces no feeling so strongly as temporal-whiplash: One moment it's like your living in some kind of movie-nerd wish-dream utopia where Rot Lop Fan is turning up in a "Green Lantern" movie or there's a five-film inter-continuity buildup for a live-action "Avengers" epic... and then the next moment your zapped into some kind of living-parody of the worst excesses of "Catwoman"-level bastardizations where you hear stuff like this:

"The project is described as a reinvention of the iconic D.C. comic in which Wonder Woman -- aka Diana Prince -- is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life."

So... Kelley wanted to do a version of his well-worn basic schtick but with a currently-trendy superhero twist ("Ally McBatman," essentially) and seized on the most "everybody knows" female hero for a name, is the impression I'm getting from this. That, or he's doing the best meta-parody of adaptations that rip everything remotely unique or interesting out of their source-material. Delightful.

Likely trajectory: Makes it to the air, widely-panned, brief period of grasping-at-straws by fandom at minor slices of DC-fanservice shoved into later episodes, canceled after one season if that (like "Smallville" would've been were it airing on a real network,) DVD boxset for the discount bin, eternal life as a punchline for fans and comic-writers, go-to "better than" barometer for whoever finally bites the bullet and makes a proper movie out of the character.

15 comments:

Drunken Lemur said...

Is The Green Bell really going to be in The Green Lantern? Or are you just pulling my leg?

KevinCV said...

I love the title of this entry, Bob. Really caught my attention. I laughed at it, because of how ridiculous it sounded, then I imagined you saying it aloud in a completely deadpan manner, and I just laughed even harder. Thanks for that. :)

Oh, and I agree. "Smallville" sucks. Unfortunately, I have a friend who thinks it's totally awesome. So much so, that despite my repeated warnings, he had the balls to say on this one message board that Bryan Singer should've cast Michael Rosenbaum instead of Kevin Spacey to play Lex Luthor in "Superman Returns". He never went back there again after he saw the flame war it had incited. Funny how that works out... XD

Blue Highwind said...

I liked "Smallville" and honesty Ally McBatman is the most awesome idea for a TV show I have ever seen. Vonda Pennyworth can sing at the bar that Ally McBatman and her best friend, Robin Vessal go to for a break after a hard surreal day fighting crime and humorously hallucinating.

Bob said...

@Drunken Lemur

Rot Lop Fan is in the movie at least to the extent that they've done a CGI render of him and have given him an action figure: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/joshw24/news/?a=27345

I imagine he'll mostly be in group-shots with the other "wacky alien" Lanterns, and they probably won't be bothering to explain why he's "special" - though note that his version of the movie-Lanterns' "skin-suit" DOES have the bell-logo.

Chaos Drive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Fedora'd Samurai said...

"The project is described as a reinvention of the iconic D.C. comic in which Wonder Woman -- aka Diana Prince -- is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life."

...Ow...OW!...that statement is such a raping of Wonder Woman that it's actually hurting me!OW!

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Robotaku said...

It's a pity that Power Girl is only famous with fanboys for two big reasons... Her background would actually work for this premise.

Jwillx70 said...

maybe this is one of those things we should be grateful it even exists in the first place. I have a foreboding feeling that Wonder Woman's shelf life is coming to an end. She is most famous as "the girl superhero," so whats going to happen to her when the novelty of her being "the girl" no longer has any meaning. As Bob said in his "A Guy Named Joe" video, the patriarchy is starting to go the way of the dodo. So when society reaches the point when gender politics becomes something that no longer has any relevance, what will happen to Wonder Woman? She's not the only super heroine out there any more. If she doesn't make some kind of mark in the popular psyche soon, I'm afraid she might just fade away into obscurity. I realize this is just me giving a voice to some vague fears about the future of "girl Indian Jones with superman's powers" but I'd love to hear the thoughts of others on the matter.

The Partisan said...

Coming this summer. Wonder Woman is...

"SINGLE FEMALE LAWYER"

RestamSalucard said...

In loudest din or hush profound,

My ears catch evil's slightest sound.

Let those who toll out evil's knell,

Beware my power: The F-Sharp Bell!

Adam said...

@Jwillx70

While I agree that the potential for more mainstream female superheroes is out there I think it'll be a while before Wonder Woman is eclipsed as "The Female Superhero". She's still the one everyone knows. Walk up to any person who knows nothing of comics and ask them to name a female hero and WW is the answer you're going to get. Ask for another and maybe you'll get Batgirl or the Invisible Woman but most likely it's going to be "...eehh?" WW has the greatest potential because she's still the most (and possibly recognizable) one. Every other superfemme out there may just be a shot in the dark.

Joe said...

As a geek in his mid-30s, I find myself in a weird time. I can clearly remember the days when sci-fi/fandom shows were few and far between. Most were poorly made and ultimately laughable, even if they had one or two solid concepts behind them. The 90s was the start of a new trend of genre series popular in syndication or new cable networks the brought us to today.

Now we're in an era where major TV networks put out shows about alien invasions, superheroes in the real world, secret agents hunting for Da Vinci Code clues to ancient magic artifacts--all with big budgets and noteworthy actors. And yet so much of it isn't very good. Be careful what you wish for, indeed. And sadly, this looks like more of the same. It's enough to make a geek cry.

...But I think it's salvageable. Bob's WW video inspired me to read through a few old WW trades, and I realized I liked Greg Rucka's run best (until Infinite Crisis derailed it). Rucka focused on the one thing that makes Diana different from any other top tier hero: she's an ambassador from another culture. Rucka took that and made it the core of his run. If only this modern trend of "realistic" superheroes could encompass the existence of Themyscira.

Dave Kraft said...

"Ally McBatman" ..... I love that line. I'm totally gonna use it now XD

@Bob: I'm pissed about Rot Lop Fan, like he's going to show up just to show how diverse the Corps is ("we've even got a blind guy!") but guess who isn't in the film? Katma Tui.

Her absence in...... everything DC right now is a testament to DC/Warners not knowing a damn thing about her. It's almost a crime......

Regarding the WW show: Fear not, there's one thing you shouldn't count out just yet.

The Wonder Woman movie has been on-again off-again for quite some time now. Joel Silver now has a WW film planned for 2013, featuring an original villain (because apparently Ares and a World War II context are too good of an idea Warners has to show the world how little they know about what they're doing).

Yet something tells me that's going to change. These projects flip-flop just about as often as Hasbro UK...... everyone changes their mind every other day, like consistency is dependent on the state of the weather and if someone happens to be wearing the color green.

NBC may have picked up the project, but it's possible that the pilot may never get off the ground if the project falls apart between now and when casting starts. Or, like the Aquaman series, the pilot will be the last we see of the series.

Bob said...

@DaveKraft,

Silver's been holding the WW exec-producer credit for over a decade - ALL of the versions that have failed to get made have happened under his watch. He never pulls the trigger.

What I've always (well, for a decade anyway) wanted to see happen is for him to just put his boys The Wachowskis on it. Maybe he HAS and they said no, but it'd be a perfect fit. Say what you will about Silver, guy is loyal - The Wachowski's haven't delivered a solid hit since Matrix2, and he's ALWAYS willing to take a shot on whatever they want to do.