David E. Kelley's upcoming TV pilot Wonder Woman is currently in production, with a cast that includes Adrianne Palicki as Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman, Elizabeth Hurley, and Cary Elwes. The writer-producer recently revealed, though, that he initially turned down the project when it was first offered to him.
Here's what he had to say in a recent interview.
"Well I first said no, for all the obvious reasons. It's not really what I do; it's not a genre that's in my wheelhouse. But then I started thinking about, What if there were such a person in today's world and what must it be like to be her? And I was imagining the sense of social isolation that she must feel, that she indeed would probably be a rather complicated beast. When I started thinking about all the complications and potential layers to this superhero, I just got more and more intrigued. It was also something I was a little bit afraid of. That's good, too. Any writer should get out of his or her comfort zone, and this was way outside of mine. So I took a deep breath and decided to go for it. I did not truthfully commit to doing it until I wrote the script. I was going to try writing it, and if I failed on my own terms, I would say no. If I thought, Yeah, this is something I believe in, then I'd turn it in. And it was something I ultimately did get behind. It was hard, but I had a good time writing it. And Warner Bros. and DC both responded very positively - and off we went."
"It was not an easy search, but it went far quicker than I ever imagined. After writing this script, I remember looking at several people and going, 'Yeah, now good luck trying to find her.' She's got to be strong, smart, emotionally accessible - and oh yeah, an Amazon! Good luck. I remember speaking to DC, and saying, 'We may have to compromise on the physicality. We need to go with the best actress. And if the best actress is five-foot-five, we have to be open to that, because there's too many layers for this character to also demand that she be nearly six feet tall.' And then lo and behold, in comes this girl named Adrianne Palicki. I had seen her on Friday Night Lights and I always liked her work, but I didn't get a sense of her stature. I guess he was sitting down in a lot of the scenes. So she stood up, and we met - eyeball to eyeball - she smiled ... and I knew during the course of the conversation that this was Wonder Woman. I just knew it. I had an instinctive feeling that this was her. So then she read. And she was. And she is."