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Great Hera!

Three Pretty Extensive Clips From the Failed Wonder Woman Pilot Remind Us Mostly of TV in the Nineties

Footage from failed Wonder Woman TV pilot -… by kahramanlarsinemada

So, here’s finally enough footage from Wonder Woman to get any kind of sense of the show, and my very first reaction to it is this: this might have worked if it premiered in the ’90s. (Two more videos behind the jump.)

That would have excused the laughable effects used to make that lasso (I could understand if this footage was clipped before post-production, but if this is what was actually shown to NBC execs, that is ridiculously bad), and the fight choreography, which reminded me of Xena and Hercules more than anything else.

Footage from failed Wonder Woman TV pilot -… by kahramanlarsinemada

The more I see Palicki move around in that costume, the more farcical that top becomes. If we can recognize that the stylized elements of some superhero costumes have to be replaced so that a live-action actor won’t look weird (as in the Batman movies, where his white-triangle-eyes are replaced with a combination of masks with eye holes and dark makeup around the eyes); then why is Adrienne Palicki in a costume that perpetually looks too small and unsupportive?

SUPPORT IS IMPORTANT. Sports bras are not optional equipment for women with the body type we associate with Wonder Woman.

Footage from failed Wonder Woman TV pilot by kahramanlarsinemada

Of course, the key here is that the show reminds me of ’90s action shows… without the tongue in cheek attitude. The people behind Xena and Hercules were pretty conscious that they were producing low-brow entertainment, and it was that awareness that allowed them to transcend the normal limits of the lowbrow. I’m not sure a tongue in cheek Wonder Woman would work (again), so really the show’s only other option is to make the concept work when played straight. Judging by these clips, they did not manage it.

(via Blastr.)


  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Wow. Okay. So, the costume looks terrible. Not just the top (way too small! Xena pulled a similar look off without having her breasts crease on the sides), but the pants too. Tight, yes, but…blocky? Unflattering. I have heard someone elsewhere mention that Wonder Woman once wore a Legionnaire-ish skirt. Why didn’t they go with that? She’s supposed to be a bad ass Greek warrior, after all.

    Wonder Woman whining about her tits, ass, teeth, etc…feels like Alley McBeal.

    And the special effects are all bad. The sped up running, the wire-fu, the digi-rope. And why would regular human thugs attack a woman that can throw a guy through a wall and and slam two others between two-ton storage bins? Very Hercules/Xena.

    I am so sorry this existed.

  • Anonymous

    This could’ve filled the awful action void left behind when The Cape (R.I.P.) was canceled.  Such a waste.

  • Francesca M

    WOW so bad. So sooo bad.

    I can see what you mean about the Xena thing, but also I’m reminded of the miserable Birds of Prey tv show, AND the Catwoman movie.

    I don’t understand why they can’t take female DC heroes seriously. The costume aside is a total non issue. Its just bad. Everything is so bad. Adrianne Palicki could have worked out beautifully if only she had had a better script. And that’s what it all boils down too, David E. Kelly. *shudder* Seriously for the best Wonder Woman ever in any kind of media, its the Wonder Woman animated Movie.. with Keri Russell, Nate Fillion, Virginia Madsen. Everyone should be sat down with that and see what Wonder Woman should be. They show she’s just as strong as Superman, without using that damn phrase. They SHOW her as an amazing warrior.

  • Robert

    I liked the Aquaman pilot more.

  • Anonymous

    I  think you hit on an interesting point: Why are DC female action heroes so horribly handled in live-action adaptations?

    Someone (on another blog discussing whether or not DC would do a film series like Marvel) mentioned that DC heroes are less adaptable into live action entertainment than those of Marvel, because of their costumes and unrealistic origins.  I don’t agree with that.  Batman, Superman, Hellboy, X-Men, and even Green Lantern (it was not the origins of the characters that people disliked) nullify that argument.  I wonder if it because the lead character is a female?  Pheiffer’s Cat Woman and the female X-men were handled well, but they were supporting cast (for lack of a better term). 

    Is this inability to adapt female superheroes a DC issue? or, If Marvel made a film with a female superhero as the lead (I’ve read rumors of She Hulk), would the adaptation be just as bad?

  • Arielle Sorkinator

    Did she just…throw a pipe through that guy’s NECK??

  • Joanna Moylan

    “he’ll lawyer up” ?  Yeesh, the script is as hammy as the acting.

  • Laura

    Wow… It was bad enough to see her running with that top barely staying up, but killing that random guard? I remember the whole ‘killing enemies’ thing was a pretty big deal for her in the comics, and most versions I’ve seen of her involve disabling/knocking out human enemies. If it was a big bad it would be different, but come on- it looked like a random security guy.

    I noticed they also used a track from Iron Man in the warehouse clip. Is that originally from Iron Man, or is it ‘fair use’ somehow? Just curious.

  • Eden Chubb

    You’re kidding me right? The animated movie might’ve been good if they hadn’t turned Hades into Dionysus for some inexplicable reason and gave Steve Trevor a brand of idiotic sexist womanizing that just seemed totally outdated. Oh and let’s not forget that Amazon who betrays everyone at the end of the movie because she’s in love with Ares, and when Hippolyta asks why she would turn against her sister Amazons she says something like, “Yes we are Amazons, but are we not also women?” VOMIT

  • louisville chiropractic

    I always like the original Wonder Woman outfit.

  • Nick Gaston

    I gotta say, costume aside, I thought the fight scene wasn’t half bad…there was really a feeling of weight and strength behind it (like when she effortlessly kicks a 40-ft shipping container to smack the goons, and the shot doesn’t even really focus on it), which really seems to lack in a lot of superhero fights.

    Of course, from what I’ve read of the rest of the episode’s plot online, the circumstances of the fight are a bit…horrifying. Especially for a superhero who’s supposed to be an open, public figure. They tried to work in a sort of real-world legal angle into a superhero story (witness “he’ll lawyer up”), but they didn’t really have the smarts or skills to back it up, and it ended up coming off worse than if they’d just ignored it completely.

  • Nick Gaston

    All things considered, the track “Escape From the Hospital (And T-1000)” from the T2 soundtrack would actually have worked almost frighteningly better.

  • Amanda Jean Carroll

    The really horrifying thing about this is that it will probably make various studio execs believe that Wonder Woman isn’t a viable character on film, which is just another drop in the “Why is Wonder Woman one of the DC Big 3?” bucket. Of course, I don’t agree with that. But I don’t think she has ever been handled really well, in books or on an editorial level. It’s just… sad. 

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  • Anonymous

    Looks like the videos have been taken down. Anyone know anywhere else that has them up?

  • Anonymous

    First off, “tits” is considered a vulgar description of a woman’s breasts which is the main reason why you don’t hear women using the word tits for their breasts. Good lord thank god this pilot didn’t get picked up. 

  • Francesca M

    There are Flaws. BUT the characterization of Diana is really good as is the action.  And dude.. she betrayed everyone.. she is not going to have a good reason for it.. yeeesh.

  • Dylan A.

    Videos deleted. Are they posted somewhere else?