While promoting his new TNT medical drama Monday Mornings at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, California, producer extraordinaire David Kelley broached the subject of his much talked about 2011 pilot for a Wonder Woman series at NBC and commented on the chances of the CW's potential new Wonder Woman project getting off the ground.
Entitled Amazon, the CW project is in development and currently in the early stages of casting, although the network has yet to grant it a proper pilot order. Kelley's attempt to reboot Wonder Woman at the Peacock network completely missed the mark and the pilot has been almost universally derided by those who have seen it as an embarrassing failure, for both the producer and the venerable comic book character. For his part, Kelley admits that mistakes were made and acknowledges that the CW series could be successful if they can avoid the same pitfalls.
"I still believe it's viable for a television series. I think it's ripe to do it. We made mistakes with ours. My only regret is we were never given a chance to correct them," says the Emmy-winning producer. "We had a lot that was right about it and a great cast. In time, we could have fixed what we had done wrong, we just didn't get that chance. All my series have been a work in progress to a certain extent where you figure them out by episodes three, four or five. This one actually gelled sooner than any that I have had in the past. We would have gotten there and I wish we were afforded a little more time. I do believe in the potential of the series and I wish them well with it. I think it could be a great success."
As for what he would have done differently, Kelley notes that time was of the essence and that he wasn't as familiar with the superhero genre as he should have been when he embarked on the project. "We produced it at warp speed and it's a special effects show and it took more time than we were able to give it. We were able to give it more time and extended it had we been picked up," he explained. "Just learning the storytelling – the genre was very different for me and I had a lot to learn; my learning curve probably would have gotten better. I'm sad we didn't get to do it but I do believe it can work for the CW. They're smart to try it."
The early image that was officially released of star Adrianne Palicki in full Wonder Woman regalia was heaped with scorn by critics across the internet and seemed to kill the project before it ever really had a chance. Kelley is adamant that his series would have eventually found its footing, but would he attempt to mount the project again if the opportunity presented itself? "I would. It's different for me, it's a genre that I have a lot to learn about. At this point in your life, everybody should do something that they're scared of; I was a little scared of it, I remain a little scared of it and be happy to wade into the fear again," Kelley asserts, adding that if he were going to pursue another superhero franchise, he would beg Avengers director Joss Whedon to guide him. "He's pretty good at it."
Do you think NBC should have given David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman project a chance? Does the CW's Amazon stand a better chance?