Wonder Woman's (Almost) Return to Television

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.

Look at the making of the Aquaman TV pilot as well as Justice League: The Animated Series. Just click below.


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LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 5:23 AM
Pity, it would've been cool, never heard of this one, but i heard they wanted to do a SHAZAM! spin off!!

Mighty find @ ED!

tazmaniak - 10/20/2009, 5:37 AM
"There’s more concentration on her personal life, her love life"

Doesn't sound too exciting.It probably would have been a chick's show.
LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 5:43 AM
Who cares, it would've been good!!
Bamf7 - 10/20/2009, 5:55 AM
Lee - I GOTTA disagree with ya on this one! Here is the quote that got me:

"I decided I didn’t want to read a lot of comic books so that I wouldn’t be influenced."

Wrong step number 1!!!!! I think it would be hard enough reintroducing Wonder Woman to the modern media without even a fanboy backing...just my two cents!
Boekelaar - 10/20/2009, 6:08 AM
yeah good point @ Bamf
EdGross - 10/20/2009, 6:13 AM
Back in the '90s when I first heard the premise of Lois & Clark, it sounded like the dumbest idea in the world to me. But I have to say that Levine's approach worked. Unfortunately she departed (assuming "creative differences") early on and the show descended into pure silliness. While I understand the concern over her statement, everything would have had to have been approved by DC anyway, so there would have been some influence by the comics no matter what.
StephenStrange - 10/20/2009, 6:27 AM
Sounds like it would have been an effing trainwreck.
LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 6:29 AM
Like what ED said @ WB/DC would've made sure it was good!

; D

Hey am i the only one who loved LOIS & CLARK???!

Well me an TEA lol.

I still say they should've made that SHAZAM! back then!
LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 6:33 AM

; D
LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 7:08 AM
TEA @ Lol! ; D

You got a point but WB TV and WB movies think different, anyways it never happened lol. For a top quality series of WW all you gotta do is watch the old LINDA CARTER series, but you know that! ; )
LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 7:15 AM
Bad Bad Bad!!

: D
BmanHall - 10/20/2009, 7:17 AM
Until I read this, I (almost) cared.
Bamf7 - 10/20/2009, 7:42 AM
No I really did used to enjoy watching Lois and Clark also...but everybody already cares about Superman...you don't need as much set up, etc...so a new spin on it isn't that bad. Most people know what Wonder Woman looks like...but that's about it. They don't know an origin. Personally, I'd rather just see something made in the same vein as her recent animated movie...that movie was one of the best out of the recent batch of animated films we've been getting!
lc - 10/20/2009, 7:43 AM
oooooooooooh you littel s h it @leee
damn boy dont make me get my whip out!! lol
anyway mr i wont shake what i did this morrin
to you again lol
LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 8:43 AM
Lmfao @ guys!!!


lc @ Hahhahahha!!!
JohnnyKrypton - 10/20/2009, 8:49 AM
"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."

Yep, that sounds like '90s WB executive decision-making (see "Batman & Robin")
number10 - 10/20/2009, 8:57 AM
why on flying [frick]s name does that boy added a retarded Gayball video to every [frick]ing comment?
LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 9:01 AM
KEROSENE - 10/20/2009, 9:35 AM
damn...just damn.
HeckYeah - 10/20/2009, 10:15 AM
EdGross - 10/20/2009, 10:15 AM
It's amazing to me that this started as a post about a Wonder Woman TV show.
thwhtGuardian - 10/20/2009, 11:57 AM
It might have been an interesting watch, her comment about not looking at a single WW comment was disconcerting but then again it's prolly for the better as most WW storylines are pretty bad.
KeepItReal - 10/20/2009, 12:09 PM
"I decided I didn’t want to read a lot of comic books so that I wouldn’t be influenced."

"Wrong step number 1!!!!! I think it would be hard enough reintroducing Wonder Woman to the modern media without even a fanboy backing...just my two cents!"

you hit it right on the nail buddy! how can you NOT refer to the comics to get the essence of WHO WONDER WOMAN IS?! And what is this Greek Professor of history crap? thank goodness she is a no go... NEXT!

its the problem with the movie and the now the TV show. they are not adhering to the comics and the origins and what an who is WOnder WOman. What a lack of respect and its pure laziness to not follow up on the character.
Phinehas - 10/20/2009, 1:42 PM
She's fired, right??

What a 'tard-fish. Why do they insist on giving these projects/heroes to people that are not even remote fans?? She refuses to read a comic of hers so she won't be influenced? WTH!?!? What an asinine admission. Why even call her Wonder Woman? Oh wait, oh yeah. To dupe us into watching. The only thing similar are "Greek" aspects and the name Wonder Woman. If she doesn't read the comics, and is not based on Wonder Woman of the comics, then it isn't Wonder Woman. It isn't even a facsimile. Its an imposter.

KeepItReal - 10/20/2009, 2:05 PM
hey phin! i thinks its time you and i went down to headquarters and straighten these people out! lol.. What is all this load of crap they keep dumping on us trying to pawn it off as Wonder Woman?! beyonce as WW, not following the source, that crap of animated caca! WTH?!
Phinehas - 10/20/2009, 2:07 PM
I say we go rough 'em up a little.
EdGross - 10/20/2009, 2:12 PM
Remember, guys, this was an interview from, like, nine years ago. I just wanted to present because I thought it would be an interesting look at an unfilmed project. It is no way, shape or form happening.
Phinehas - 10/20/2009, 2:17 PM
Not the point, Ed. This is an example of the same stupid decision making that goes into these characters even now. I still haven't seen a WB/DC movie of the silver age to make a judgement whether they learned their lesson since TDK. No. Instead they stop everything until a couple of months ago. I have no idea how well they'll stick to a real GL. Do you?
davidcub - 10/20/2009, 4:45 PM
I'm so glad this was never made! She was clearly trying to jump on the McBeal gravy train...that's disgusting! If they wanted to make a series, all they needed to do was use the George Perez/Greg Potter relaunch. It would have been fantastic! It would have been like Xena when she's in Themyscira and WW's supporting cast would have provided TONS of sub plots and storylines for her "man's world" adventures. It was right there for the taking and they blew it. The character this woman is talking about is Wonder Woman IN NAME ONLY. Certainly not the Diana WE know and love!
LEEE777 - 10/20/2009, 6:32 PM
thwhtGuardian - 10/20/2009, 8:57 PM
What is this legacy of Wonder Woman you guys all revere?

I just don't get Wonder Woman. I don't understand her character. I don't get her appeal. I understand her appeal as an icon, a symbol of women's power. I understand the appeal of A wonder woman, a being who steps out of myths in the "real" world, bringing a era of gods and monsters with her.
But as a character? No. How is she noticeably different from Superman or any other member of the league?

People have said the problem is that Wonder Woman doesn't have a civilian identity, a place she can go to be human (arguably, this is what the new Wonder Woman series is about, but it's hard to tell). But I call shenanigans on that! There are plenty of superheroes with negligible civilian identities, but that doesn't mean they lack character!

Take the late Superboy. From 1993 to 1998, he had no name other than Superboy! A clone of Superman, a superhero literally since conception, no part of his background has anything civilian or human to it... but that didn't mean his character couldn't be defined, or his strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and tragedies couldn't be relatable.

why is she so bland?
And why, if her past is so badly written, shouldn't she be just totally rewritten?
KeepItReal - 10/20/2009, 9:35 PM
What is the appeal of Green Lantern? his character is that of intergalactic police. Many of them actually. They have a ring and it gives them super powers. take that away you have just a man. What is the appeal of Green Arrow? he is no different it seems than Robin Hood yet he is widely liked. Take away the ring, the arrow... what have you got? Just another man with no super powers.

What about Batman? Take away his wealth, his psychotic appeal, his resources and means to the latest technological weapons (that still dont match Wonder womans lansarians technology)and you have just another man with above average intelligence. Why is he in the justice league? Because he's a man and wears a mask? He is not stronger than Superman or Wonder Woman yet he is there.

Wonder Woman has super powers with her lasso, her tiara, her bracelets (all symbolic and useful) but if you take them away she is still a super. She still is the ambassador to the patriach world trying to spread peace and love and protecting the innocent. She has super strength to match Superman, she has flight, and speed even without her accersories. She has technology of advanced alien technology. She is Diana Prince in the patriach world... princess in her world. She does have background in Greek mythology but there's more to her. People always say they dont "get her" yet how many of them have taken the time to read about her? Now if you dont get her you dont. It doesnt make her any less appealing and certainly not bland. Like I dont get Green Arrow being so super or Green Lantern or Aqua Man. Why should they be in the justice league? Just like Wonder Woman has appeal and means something to me i am sure to others the Green Lantern and Green Arrow means something to others.

Wonder Woman is a very complex superhero and for those who DO get her know why this should be done and done properly.
thwhtGuardian - 10/20/2009, 9:48 PM
I like her as a back up character, but as a solo hero she just falls flat for me. I liked her in trinity, and I like her in Kingdom come, and just about any justice league story, but her only solo stories I've ever enjoyed are hikitea and spirit of truth.
Her rogues gallery is lack luster and for the most part her personality totally changes from writer to writer.
And as for bruce wayne, you take away the cape and cowl and he can still carry a story by himself, I could read a whole book of just bruce and not see a single action scene, same with Hal Jordon. But what of Diana Prince? She's a faux identity, she isn't anyone.
She can't carry a book, heck Wonder Woman alone can barely carry a book, have you ever looked at her sales? B list heroes out do her.
shibazz - 10/20/2009, 9:57 PM
Keep It Real- I love you! but lets keep it real.... Batman is the emissary of the good and liberal man who loves a conservative approach and delivery but hopes for a liberal time and fights and dies for it too! You are Super Right about the Green Lantern..... But BatMan? just hear me out.... he is from a place most of us will never know... even so, most of us feel Clark Kents origin....... But Bruce Wayne is like Dianna... he is singled out to infiltrate a society that is un-aware of its past and he alone can negotiate through fist or mind/emotions what Humanity needs most... they are Gods among Men... one from a distant time and place and one from a place we would never want to visit... either way they are among us.... Bruce is Dianna's Lover for a reason.
KeepItReal - 10/20/2009, 10:29 PM
Fuax Identity? Who in the superhero world has a true one?! lol! common...

Diana Prince was originally an officer in military intelligence. She started in the typical woman's role of secretary but gradually earning more autonomy, including the authority to interrogate espionage suspects, eventually becoming an intelligence officer in her own right and, over the years, rising from Lieutenant to Major. Are you really saying that you couldnt make a story out of this and it not be good? You said yourself Hikitea was good...with a good writer she can have a good movie, good tv show if they would just get people who "got her" to do it. I absolutely think they could make a book of agent Diana Prince.

I have to say I do agree with you on Bruce Wayne but its because of his psychotic tendencies that you would follow his story. The guy is brilliant, no doubt. But then so are alot of other people with the right writer.

Shibazz! hey girlie! =) Dont get me wrong! I LOVE Batman! He is my fav too! lol! But not everyone is of the mind that Wonder Woman deserves to be in the justice league or deserves to be properly represented in the movies or on tv. i love batman really, but if they question Wonder Woman being in the jl then they have to question Batman and GL and GA because she is stronger than they are in the sense that even without her accessories she is still super but they want to trivialize her. Batman is still only human whereas she is immortal. (Yes, wsnt it yummy them being lovers?!)

I think thwhtGuardian just wants to bait me =P
thwhtGuardian - 10/20/2009, 11:18 PM
A little bit kir. I never said I didn't want her in the league, she's great like that. I just think her solo is kind of boring.
Batman has an amazing rogues gallery, superman has some great villians, heck even the flash has some interesting opponents...but wonder woman? Who is her iconic nemesis? The bad guy has to be as anticipated as the hero for the story to work, and Wonder woman doesn't have anyone to go against that anyone is really clamoring to see on the silver screen.
She's iconic, but she lacks substance. And is the military career still cannon? I thought they got rid of all of that, which is a shame because it was cool, 70's wonder woman was almost interesting. But I'm pretty sure they retconned that all away.
KeepItReal - 10/21/2009, 12:03 AM
you think her solo is kind of boring? really? I guess growing up with her as a little girl she has meant so much more to me. I just love her tv show! lol!

Her rogues gallery, imho, is as impressive as Batman or Supermans. You have so many to choose from like:

Ares: the son of the Greek god Zeus and god of war. His mere existence falls into conflict with Wonder Woman's peaceful way of living. Time and again he has tried to cause strife in the world but remains defeated by the Amazon princess. He was referred to by the Roman name Mars for most of the pre-Crisis period.

Baroness Paula Von Gunther: Wonder Woman's first recurring arch-nemesis, a ruthless Nazi spymaster, evil scientist, and femme fatale.

Cheetah: there are 4 different ones. The current Cheetah, Barbara Minerva, is a former archeologist and treasure-hunter who sold her soul to the plant-god Urtzkartaga for power and immortality, not realizing she'd be bound in eternal servitude to him.

Circe: based on the Greek mythological character of the same name. A witch and sorceress of vast power, specializing in illusion and transformation spells, Circe was originally a minor villain but post-Crisis has become one of Wonder Woman's most formidable foes.

Cyborgirl: After destroying her body by taking the drug known as "Tar", LeTonya Charles is given cybernetic implants by her aunt Sarah Charles, who maintains the cybernetic components of the super-hero Cyborg. However, instead of using her new gained abilities for good, she has decided to serve her own selfish desires and has become a villain, coming into conflict with Wonder Woman.

Doctor Cyber: A female criminal mastermind and head of an international crime syndicate, Doctor Cyber was Wonder Woman's arch-nemesis during a period when she had given up her Amazon powers and become a white-costumed karate expert. During an early battle, Cyber's face was horribly burned. Vowing revenge for her ruined beauty, she became obsessed with having Wonder Woman's face removed and surgically grafted on her own. She also teamed up with Batman foe Doctor Moon in this period. A cyborg version of the character has appeared post-Crisis, but not as a Wonder Woman villain.

Giganta: another one of Wonder Woman's most notorious enemies, was originally a gorilla who was super-evolved by Professor Zool. Her modern day version is Doctor Doris Zuel, a medical doctor suffering from a fatal disease who hoped to transfer her life essence into Wonder Woman. When Wonder Girl foiled her attempt, her essence was placed into a gorilla. She then transferred her essence into Olga, a circus strong-woman who had the power to grow to gigantic size. She is now a continuing thorn in Wonder Woman's side.

Silver Swan: A third Silver Swan, Vanessa Kapatelis, was actually a longtime friend of Wonder Woman, kidnapped by Circe, Doctor Psycho, and others, brainwashed into hating her former idol, and turned into a murderous cyborg.

Tezcatlipoca: The Aztec trickster god was first the unseen consort of Circe who then betrayed the sorceress. Creating unrest in the fictional country Tropidor, Tezcatlipoca was also responsible for enslaving a lost tribe of Amazons.

Doctor Psyco: Ridiculed as a child for his small stature and strange appearance, Doctor Psycho grew up to be highly sexist and mysoginist. Formerly a brilliant student, he went mad and turned to crime after being framed for a crime by a rival who stole the only girl he ever loved. A Little person with telepathic and psychic powers, he was originally intended to be an archetypical Mad Scientist and spirit medium, but that image was dropped post-Crisis. He is one of Wonder Woman's most deadly foes.

Just to name a few. ;) I liked the 70's Wonder Woman. I think its a good introuduction, but could be worked on. People know of Wonder Woman from the TV. Why would you have to reinvent her if that is all they know and she is so much more than that? You have so much to choose from to make a truely great story with her. Epic stories. There's so many angles to choose from to tell her story. Epic before she comes stateside. Tell her origins kinda like 300 rolled up with Lord of the Rings. When she comes stateside Agent Prince can have a story as well. All I know is she has the same potential as Batman, Superman if she were given the same consideration and care.

The bad guy is not anticipated as the hero in a story. A bad guy is a bad guy. Whether its obvious in the beginning or not. To say she lacks substance just doesnt ring true to me. If she does, so many other superheros do too. Who is Green Lanterns iconic nemesis?

************check out this thread by TheHawk***************

Phinehas - 10/21/2009, 12:07 AM
thwhtGuardian -

"She's iconic, but she lacks substance."

That's a bit of a contradiction don't ya think?

Sheesh! Are you kidding about her rogues gallery???
The Mythologicals including (but not limited to):

At one point, Hercules

The Cheetah
Edgar Cizco AKA Dr Psycho (admittedly not the most elegant name but things can be adjusted for film)

Finally, the clashing of two diametrically opposing cultures is typically the plot device that creates the appeal. At least for me. Women, that have for millinia lived independent from men, and successfully so, are thrust into the other's lives. Paradoxes arise as to their clash. This is a theme that will raise questions in the minds of many. No substance? Please. Just admit that she's not interesting to you. But please don't insult others and say she's not interesting at all.
KeepItReal - 10/21/2009, 12:11 AM
phin! I lacked your words to say what I wanted! you say it so nicely, so eloquently.
Phinehas - 10/21/2009, 12:13 AM
LOL, KIR! Maybe I should remain silent. You do well without my help.

I have mixed feelings on Carter's WW. Yes it brought to the people's consciousness WW, but it also cemented their idea of her. Look how long it took for people to shake Adam West's Bats. 40 years and two Shoomaker film's later...and BB and TDK. Finally! WW should be done like Gladiator+300+Clash Of The Titans+LOTR combined! It would be awesome. But how many painful mistakes do we have to experience first???
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