Having just watched the first two episodes of Arrow, the failed Wonder Woman pilot episode, and the horrible Justice League TV movie that never aired I started thinking about what DC and Warner Brothers have done right and what they have done wrong. Where to begin? We all remember George Reeves, the first iconic Superman. People loved him as that character. But even then there were issues with that franchise. Superman Vs. The Mole Men is the perfect example. There was also The Adventures Of SuperPup. Thankfully that never aired. I don’t know if the world will ever be ready for the adventures of Bark Kent. Cut to years later Alexander and Ilya Salkind had such a tyrannical way of doing things that Gene Hackman refused to work with them and wouldn’t come back for Superman III: The Fall Of A Franchise. He came back for the fourth installment but the movies had turned into a big joke by then. Plus there was the Superboy television series around that time. Terrible. And Lois & Clark, more Moonlighting than Superman. Not a bad show but it made Superman into a joke just like the last film. Then there was Superman Returns, a worthy effort but overall weak and incredibly expensive. There were also all the scripts they paid writers for and didn’t use, pay or play contracts with Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage costing them millions. Superman Returns had such a hefty price tag before one bit of it was shot it was destined to be a disappointment. Then there’s Batman. Right now he is DC’s heavy hitter thanks to Christopher Nolan and company. But just a few short years ago we had the Joel Shumaker debacle. Batman Forever was only an okay movie. Batman & Robin killed the franchise with its horribleness. But even before that DC said okay back in the 60’s to having the Batman television series air. It was so campy that it changed the tone of the comics up until Frank Miller brought in the darkness with Year One. Wonder Woman had a hit television series back in the 70’s and 80’s starring Lynda Carter. The show was a product of its time but didn’t really do a disservice to the character. The movie starring Kay Lenz (I’m not even positive it was her so don’t quote me there) did. I already devoted a whole blog entry to the horrible 2011 version that never aired so I’m not going into it here. Let’s just say it sucked and move on. The Flash. He’s long been one of my favorite characters in the comics. They haven’t done much with him but they did make a season of episodes for CBS back in the early 90’s. It wasn’t bad, not good either, but not bad. Green Arrow. After years of talking about making a movie called Super Max where Green Arrow was locked up in prison with the worst of the worst super villains Warner Brothers scrapped the idea and went with a television series. And it’s good. Give it a shot. You will like it. Let’s talk about other good things. Nolan’s Batman trilogy – amazing, Burton’s first Batman – awesome, Superman I & II – great, Smallville – uneven but good, the animated shows and movies – all solid entries. I think overall Warner doesn’t know what they have or how to handle it. It’s sort of like Disney and Science Fiction. They don’t know what they have till they lose money on it. Can anyone say Green Lantern?
I’ve been on this kick lately of trying to find things that were never officially released to watch. That led to my curiosity about the failed Wonder Woman pilot episode that never aired. Sure, we all saw the pictures of Adrianne Palecki in the costume and probably thought this was a sure fire hit no matter how bad it sucks. Thankfully we were all wrong.
First off, what was the deal with Diana being called Diana Themyscara? And she owned a giant corporation? And everyone knew she was Wonder Woman? And she kept an apartment under the name Diana Prince where she would get away and watch romance films with her cat? What the hell?
I get why Palecki did the show. She’s an up and comer who is still looking for that big break. And GI Joe: Retaliation isn’t it. That movie was a bigger piece of garbage than this. It’s no wonder they wanted to pull the movie from the Summer line up and do massive re-shoots. Tracie Thoms also starred in the pilot episode. She has been in bigger stuff like Rent, Death Proof, and another failed television series close to my heart – Wonderfalls. The cast was rounded out by Cary Elwes as her advisor or something. It wasn’t made clear what he did exactly. And the other big name was Elizabeth Hurley as the main villain. Even with this impressive roster of actors and being written and produced by David E. Kelly it was still a giant mess.
I think David Kelly was out of his comfort zone with this project. I don’t know why Warner Brothers handed this over to the guy behind Ally McBeal, Picket Fences, Boston Public, and The Practice. That doesn’t make me think, “This guy would be the perfect fit for a show about an Amazon princess who fights super villains”.
After watching Arrow recently (which we talked about on the latest episode of The Gorram Nerd Hour) and seeing how they got that pretty much right in tone and structure I can’t imagine what they were thinking with this. Oh well, at least it never aired. That’s something, I guess.
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