Will “Wonder Woman” morph into a quirky Boston lawyer?
In an unlikely matchup, David E. Kelley is close to signing on to adapt a new TV version of the classic DC comicbook character.
Warner Bros. TV, where Kelley is now based, will serve as studio. No deal has been finalized, but Kelley could soon be at work sketching out a modern take on Wonder Woman on one of his yellow legal pads.
“Wonder Woman” is on a long list of other DC comics to be adapted for TV via owner Warner Bros., including the CW’s “Smallville” (a retelling of the Superman origins tale).
“Wonder Woman” ran as a TV franchise for a period in the 1970s, first on ABC and then on CBS. That version actually began as a 1974 TV movie, starring Cathy Lee Crosby in the role. Lynda Carter then took over in a series of “The New Original Wonder Woman” specials, followed by a regular series.
Warner Bros. last tried to revive “Wonder Woman” for TV in 1998, when NBC developed a script from Deborah Joy LeVine (with helmer James Frawley attached to direct). That project didn’t make it far in the development process.
More recently, Warner Bros. attempted to adapt “Wonder Woman” as a feature, with stars such as Sandra Bullock rumored for the role.
Kelley’s no stranger to female characters, having written shows like “Ally McBeal,” “Girls Club” and “The Wedding Bells.” But he’s not known for tackling genre and mythology pieces like “Wonder Woman.” Kelley was originally behind ABC’s adaptation of U.K. drama “Life on Mars,” which contained mythology elements, but he eventually left that show.
Based on the 1940s Charles Moulton comic book, “Wonder Woman” centers on an Amazon woman living on a secret island and wearing a belt that gives her superpowers. Diana Prince — her real name — falls in love with a pilot, Maj. Steve Trevor (played in the 1970s by Lyle Waggoner), after he crashes on her island.
Given “Wonder Woman’s” origins as a key comic book title, his attachment will likely be watched closely by the comic book fandom.