Wednesday, February 02, 2011

BREAKING: David E. Kelley Has Heart, Will Merely Humiliate 70 Year-Old Woman Instead Of Mangling Her

Bleeding Cool has the pilot-script NBC bought for David E. Kelley's "Wonder Woman" reboot. How does it look? In some respects, better than many were probably expecting. In other respects... much much worse. More after the jump:

Amazingly, if your "hangup" was the admittedly-logical prospect of Kelley junking the source material entirely... you can relax a bit - if anything, it looks as though the main problem is "shitty TV-writing" as opposed to "disrespect for the material": At least according to BC's report, pretty-much all the "weird" stuff I would've expected them to throw out actually made it in: Lasso, bracelets, Amazons, magic island, super-powers, etc.

The "general" backstory seems to have arrived intact: Steve Trevor crashes on the Amazon's Island, brings Diana back to Man's World, etc - she goes by "Diana Themyscira," and Wonder Woman appears to be her "title." The big change is to the interim: At the point at which the "present day" story kicks-in, Trevor is now "the one that got away," and in addition to acting as a superhero she's founded a super-wealthy corporation ("Themyscira Industries.") That the CEO of said corporation is a superheroine on the side is general public knowledge - so, pretty-much a copy-paste of "Iron Man," but with a female lead. If nothing else, this pretty-much screams "older actress" (say late-30s and up), yes? If so, that's a refreshing development.

It IS kind of funny how much it lays bare the shamefully narrow definition of "strong female character" in TV terms, though - the character is a (literal) superhuman, described in the script as being able to throw a truck around... but, dammit, you've GOT to find a way for her to also have a glamorous-yet-taxing White Collar job - otherwise, how will anyone know she's supposed to be tough and independent!!?? Yeesh.

On the less-good side, while she's not doing the secret-identity thing between her two "careers;" she DOES still have the Diana Prince (hair up, glasses, "girl Clark Kent" basically) second-self for a "walkin' around" identity; which seems to exist mainly as a place for trite "women-as-imagined-by-David-E-Kelley" idiosyncracies: Singing along with the radio, "girlfriends" who behave like grade-school BFFs into their 30s, "cute" pining for Steve Trevor (a'la "Big") and, of course: Ice Cream Buddy-Binging. Ho ho! Women bonding over junk-food! That bit NEVER get's old...

Incidentally, Veronica Cale is named as the main baddie. A fairly recent creation in the comics, she was a scientist whose "thing" was trying to destroy WW for not being a good-enough feminist role model ("it's easy to be accepted when your already a goddess," that sort of thing.) In terms of appearances in comics people might've actually read, she was the blonde doctor who seduced Will Magnus and then had a "what have I done!?" breakdown in "52."


Christopher said...

Ugh, I just want a good, popular Wonder Woman property so that the character can pick up some steam in the comic world.

Wonder Woman gets no respect for some reason, even though she's been in so many great stories.

Curtis said...

It could have been worse

Daniel said...

Just read the full description on IGN....

My god, this feels more like a comedy sketch Robot Chicken would make. This can't possibly be what they're planning, it's gotta be like a test to see how we react before they show off their real plan. No it's gotta be some kind of cruel joke, this can't really be happening.

"slightly goofy comedy-drama about a hotshot business woman who moonlights as a superheroine, packed with Girl Power pop-songs and including the awkward phrase 'You go, girl.'"

Hera help us.

Blue Highwind said...

Eh, Wonderwoman got supplanted by the Powerpuff Girls a decade ago. Why do we still need her again? Powerpuff!

Also, not going to judge a show until I see its trailer. (But this doesn't look very good.)

Varya said...

Since I enjoy Smallville, and actually liked, fur reals, Ally McBeal, added with the fact that I'm not really familiar with Wonder Woman beyond DCAU, I actually think I'll enjoy this. Granted, a true comic-book adaption would have been great, but still, rather this than not having any Wonder Woman at all

Dave Kraft said...

@Varya: Saying you'd rather this than not having any Wonder Woman at all is like saying you'd rather take the live-action desecration of a beloved franchise over the DVD sets of back when it was really, really good (Bayformers fans..... you know I'm looking at you!). Not necessarily a positive thing.

As for Wonder Woman....... yeesh, it really isn't difficult to make a GOOD Wonder Woman flick. On the very base, oversimplified conceptual level, Wonder Woman = time displaced, star-spangled, WWII-era superheroine and member of a present-day superhero team = Captain America with tits.

The World War II time period also gives an excuse to whip out that one Wonder Woman villain that could be made into something awesome..... ARES, the GOD OF WAR. The rest kind of writes itself.

But that would be too easy...... and Warners producer Joel Silver has a WW movie ramping up for release in 2013 with an all-new villain made specially for the film (or so he says). Maybe the world will actually end next year so the film doesn't have a chance to embarrass itself.

Bob said...

@Dave Kraft,

What I want to know is, why doesn't Silver just hand WW off to his bestest buds, the Wachowskis? They "get" strong women, they know how to make a blockbusters, and they could really use a mainstream hit again.

Yes, part of this is just me desperately wanting to see a DC movie that's as source-accurate visually as "Speed Racer" was, but still ;)

Joe said...

Am I the only person who read and liked Greg Rucka's WW run? He took the one thing that made Diana unique among the rest of the JLA heavyweights--her mission as ambassador--and placed it front and centre. Much as I have little faith in Kelley's project, prominent corporate CEO is as good a place as any for a cultural ambassador. Probably even a great place.

Veronica Cale, like Bane and Doomsday, came from a good starting point, even if all were later used or misused beyond their sell-by date: defeat the hero in a manner never tried before. Cale went after Diana's public image, which is a good plan if you're trying to bring down an ambassador. Turns out, she just needed to wait a year or two until Infinite Crisis derailed Rucka's run and Max Lord and Brother Eye accomplished Cale's plan in less than 2 minutes.