David E. Kelley On ‘Wonder Woman’

The 'Ally McBeal' creator explains what drew him to the Amazon Superheroine.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

David E. Kelley On 'Wonder Woman'

Last week, the first image of Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman drew additional scrutiny on the upcoming "Wonder Woman" pilot by David E. Kelley, a writer better known for quirky series like "Ally McBeal," "The Practice" and "Boston Legal" than anything resembling a superhero series. As it turns out, even Kelley was surprised that he ended up on this project.
"Well I first said no, for all the obvious reasons," explained Kelley to New York Magazine’s Vulture blog. "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," continued Kelley. "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," added Kelley. "It was hard, but I had a good time writing it. And Warner Bros. and DC both responded very positively — and off we went."

Kelley also elaborated on how he came to pick Palicki for the title role.

"I had seen [Palicki] on ‘Friday Night Lights’ and I always liked her work, but I didn’t get a sense of her stature," noted Kelley. "I guess [she] 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."

Cary Elwes, Tracie Thoms and Pedro Pascal co-star in the "Wonder Woman" pilot with Elizabeth Hurley guest starring as the villain, Veronica Cale. The "Wonder Woman’ pilot also seems very likely to make NBC’s fall schedule.


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