Wonder Woman's (Almost) Return to Television
Back at the beginning of the decade, "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" creator Deborah Joy Levine developed a new TV version of Wonder Woman. She got as far as writing the script for the pilot and beginning the casting process before the project fell apart. At the time, though, we caught up with Levine, who between casting sessions, took a few minutes to discuss her approach to the Amazon Princess.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: So, what is it with you and super heroes?
DEBORAH JOY LEVINE: I guess I’m back. I didn’t mean to come back, but I came back to Warner Bros. after working for some time at Columbia Sony Tri-Star. And just as I arrived at Warner Bros., they purchased the rights to do Wonder Woman from DC Comics. I was here, they looked at me and they looked at DC Comics and the rest is history. It was the same kind of deal that I had with Lois & Clark: “Come up with a new take on Wonder woman.” I think I’ve managed to do that. At least I hope it’s a new take, because I never saw the old [Lynda Carter] series and I decided I didn’t want to read a lot of comic books so that I wouldn’t be influenced.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: So how would you describe your new take on Wonder Woman?
DEBORAH JOY LEVINE: I guess my new take is that she is a Greek history professor, a young and very bright woman having a hard time juggling her personal life with her work. In this case, of course, her real work is being an Amazon warrior. It’s, like, “I’ll save the world, come home, pop a Lean Cuisine in the oven and watch the soap I taped this afternoon.” In many ways, she’s like a real woman, a real person. There’s a lot less holier than thou, out to fight for truth and justice, and more or less the fact that she’s here, she did come from Paradise Island, she was sent by her mother who the gods spoke to and said you have to send an emissary. So she came here and that’s sort of what she’s supposed to do as Wonder Woman, but she’s trying to live a normal life as Diana Prince, Greek history professor, as well.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: On Lois & Clark, at least in the beginning, the super heroics were very much a backdrop to the relationship . Where does that stand in Wonder Woman?
DEBORAH JOY LEVINE: I think about the same. There’s more concentration on her personal life, her love life. I think that she tries to live a normal life, but she will kick ass when she has to. That will probably happen in episodes a couple of times because she does, of course, get herself into situations that she shouldn’t. I think this is not a show that’s totally about her fighting the bad guys, and certainly not , as it was in the comic books, where she has to fight monsters. No monsters here.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: Were there any lesson from Lois & Clark that you think you’re bringing to this show?
DEBORAH JOY LEVINE: I think what worked on Lois & Clark is that it was really 50/50 or 60/40 relationship and stuff going on between them versus the bad guys they had to deal with. The problem with Lois & Clark in the later years is that there was less emphasis when I left the show on relationship, or very sort of hurried relationship to try and serve the plotline of the bad guys. I sort of think people want both. I guess if you were to compare this to something, it would have to be Ally McBeal meets Xena. She can be like Xena and beat a group of people if she has to, but the drama of her life as a single woman living in Los Angeles is probably the priority here.
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