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Adrianne Palicki Opened Up About the Wonder Woman Show That Never Was


Adrianne Palicki

There was a time when we almost got a different Wonder Woman show. David E. Kelley (who I trust and love since bringing us Ally McBeal and Big Little Lies) was slated to bring us a live-action Wonder Woman TV series way back in 2011, with Adrianne Palicki as the hero, and it was honestly a wonderful casting choice—especially because Palicki is a huge nerd.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Palicki opened up about her brief moment as Diana Prince and the show that never was, due to NBC’s decision not to pick up the series after the pilot.

“It was honestly the scariest thing ever and the best thing ever at the time. Getting to wear that outfit was just a huge dream.”

The outfit in question was … a choice. Wonder Woman wore pants. It was … interesting, to say the least. And the show took some odd liberties with the character. Based in Los Angeles (which, for DC fans, doesn’t make a lot of sense since all the cities in the DC world are fictional), her version of Diana had multiple jobs/personalities/paths she was on.

Maybe it was the show’s move to try to be as different from the Lynda Carter series as could be or just trying to get a larger audience in for a superhero show, but from the description, it doesn’t sound very … Wonder Woman, which is sad because Palicki is clearly someone who loves being in these properties because she is an actual fan of them. (She even admitted to having a Supergirl tattoo.)

What’s so fun in this interview, for me as a nerd, is how much Adrianne Palicki seems to just nerd out. Talking about auditioning with Cary Elwes (who was cast as the CEO of Themyscria Industries … again, I don’t know), she just kept bringing up the fact that he was Westley.

“I walk in one day and it’s Cary Elwes. And I’m like, ‘I can’t read with him. He was Wesley. He was the love of my life at one point!’ I was so nervous. Thankfully, he was a shoo-in and we got to work together and I got to hear all of the amazing stories about Princess Bride.”

To make matters even better, Pedro Pascal was meant to be Diana’s LAPD liaison. So … at least Pascal will still get to talk to Diana Prince onscreen when Wonder Woman 1984 finally hits, right?

But in the interview, Palicki brings up the comic book community and fans of Diana in a way that I really appreciate:

“The stans — being one as well — have very strong opinions, and it’s really important, especially in the comic-book community, to win them over. I was very nervous about that—[and] also very beautifully shocked and pleased that people were very supportive of me getting the role, obviously having not seen the show. I was lucky enough to have a beautiful writer and my buddy [pilot director] Jeffrey Reiner, who I trust implicitly and is never gonna just settle on a scene if it isn’t perfect. That made me feel much more comfortable. I felt like we were all a team and it wasn’t just me pushing for this.”

And look, I think part of her understanding of comic book fans comes from being one herself (as she said), and that’s something I think is often missing from these superhero franchises. The fans can be aggressive, yes, but they come from a place of love, and trying to navigate these characters isn’t easy. But Palicki understood why fans were nervous/excited about the project.

It sucks that NBC passed on the pilot and we never got to see where this show went (because I’m honestly very confused), but Palicki does deserve to have her own superhero property. She’s been featured in quite a few fan-favorite things (like Supernatural and The Orville, apart from her stint on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D as Bobbi), and it’d be interesting to see her shine in a comic-book property.

(image: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.