[UPDATE: Allan Heinberg has taken to Twitter to assure fans that naming Wonder Woman "Iris," at least, was an attempt to disguise the project in the casting notices, in order to prevent internet speculation. As of this update, Heinberg has neither confirmed nor denied any other aspect of the character description.]
Back in September, The CW revealed that “Amazon,” a Wonder Woman prequel series was in the early stages of development courtesy of Allan Heinberg, a screenwriter who has previously written the Wonder Woman comic.
While “Amazon” has yet to get a greenlight, Deadline is reporting that the CW has started looking for actresses to play the lead character. But the casting breakdown reveals some pretty significant changes to the character.
The complete character description is reproduced below:
“She comes from a remote, secluded country and until now has spent most of her life as a soldier and a leader on the battlefield. Because of relentless brutality of her life at home, [She] looks at our world with absolute awe and astonishment. She’s delighted and just as often horrified by the aspects of everyday life that we take for granted: skyscrapers, traffic, ice cream.
It’s all new and fascinating and sometimes slightly troubling to her. Iris is completely unschooled in our world, our culture, our customs. And she’s completely inexperienced at interpersonal relationships. She has no social filter, does not suffer fools, and tends to do and say exactly what’s on her mind at all times. She’s bluntly, refreshingly honest. She can tell when you’re lying to her. And she doesn’t have time or patience for politics or tact because she’s too busy trying to experience everything our world has to offer.
There are too many sights to see and things to learn and people to care for. Hers is a true, noble, and generous heart. And she will fight and die for the people she loves [She] is a fierce warrior with the innocent heart of a romantic and she will fight to the death to make the world safe for innocents and true romantics everywhere.”
None of that is strictly accurate to the comic book portrayal of Wonder Woman and a lot of the connections to Greek mythology appear to be absent, but it could be close enough that fans would be willing to give it a pass. Except for one thing… Wonder Woman will be called Isis, not Diana.
So, to recap: she won’t be Wonder Woman, she won’t have the original character’s backstory and now she won’t even have her real name.
Why exactly is this a Wonder Woman series? Stripping all of those elements away from her doesn’t make it a stronger fit for TV. It simply makes her more generic. This seems like the same bizarre network decision making that led to a Green Arrow adaptation on TV that refuses to actually call the character “Green Arrow” on his own show!
As with everything else in Hollywood, it all comes down to money. Unlike Batman and Superman, Warner Bros. has never fully been able to utilize Wonder Woman outside of the ‘70s TV series starring Lynda Carter. But would anyone really change their names from Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent?
Last year, David E. Kelley’s “Wonder Woman” pilot starring Adrianne Palicki (pictured above) was turned down by NBC. I’ve seen that pilot and Wonder Woman fans should be grateful that it never went forward. Kelley’s script was horrible and there were several creative decisions that simply didn’t work, like trying to fuse elements of Iron Man’s Tony Stark persona to Diana.
In his defense, Kelley had never really written comic book characters before. Allan Heinberg doesn’t have that excuse. If this radically different take on the character came solely from Heinberg, then it may be fortunate enough to make it to the CW’s fall schedule.
But it certainly doesn’t sound very true to the original Wonder Woman.
What do you think about the proposed “Amazon” TV series? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!