Not too long ago, David Kelley took over the reigns of Executive Showrunner for the new Wonder Woman release. At this point in time, the show is almost ready for Wonder Woman’s return to the small screen. Recently, shots of the star in the new costume have surfaced, and reaction to the new costume has been mostly negative from long-time comic book (and first TV series) fans. However, the following image has been making its way around the web once more:
Linda Carter was asked about Adrianne Palicki taking on the role and even Linda notes that Wonder Woman’s story needs to be retold on TV. I realize that many fans of Wonder Woman are reticent of this showrunner, are not sure of Ms. Palicki, and maybe question whether the show will succeed. But this all misses the point.
Wonder Woman, in any medium, must be allowed to try. Even if the show does a crash and burn, she must be allowed to tell her story. Because, right now, the image of Wonder Woman is indeed that of the 1970s show, for good and for ill.
Since 1979, Superman has headlined 4 feature films (S2 – Adventure Continues, S3, S4 – The Quest for Peace, and SReturns), 3 TV series (The New Adventures of Superboy, Lois and Clark, Smallville), and has been voiced or played by at least 6 actors (Chris Reeve, Brandon Routh, Dean Cain, Tim Daly, George Newburn, Gerard Christopher, and others). In each case, there have been good stories along with some that Superman fans would rather forget. But the point is that Superman is allowed to try – and fail…repeatedly.
The same goes for Batman. Like Superman, you can point a number of different actors and a wide range of voice talent, but Batman has been allowed to try…and fail (reference “Batman and Robin” the movie). Eventually, you’ll get a cinematic blockbuster (The Dark Knight) if you keep trying.
In both Superman and Batman, there are fans of nearly every actor or voice talent of the character. This is not so true of Wonder Woman, because there have not been many different types of talent that have taken on the role. The image of Linda Carter as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman still holds far too much sway in the public consciousness. There are people who are afraid of the possibility that David Kelley’s Wonder Woman may fail. Even more to the point, many of Wonder Woman’s fans are reticent that she may not be seen on any screen for a long time should this show get canceled prematurely.
This may be true. But Wonder Woman must be allowed to try. And Adrianne Palicki must be allowed to stand on her own merits. If David Kelley can succeed with Palicki as the main character, that would be a good thing. But if the show does not succeed, that is also good. Because that is the basis of a hero: Being able to succeed after suffering setbacks.
We would do well to remember that.