David E. Kelley Admits Wonder Woman Was Out Of His “Comfort Zone”

In a new interview with NYMag’s Vulture, David E. Kelley spoke about his entire [prolific] career, and at the end, of course, he was asked about Wonder Woman. Here are some highlights of what he said:

“Well I first said no, for all the obvious reasons. It’s not really what I do; it’s not a genre that’s in my wheelhouse. But then I started thinking about, What if there were such a person in today’s world and what must it be like to be her? And I was imagining the sense of social isolation that she must feel, that she indeed would probably be a rather complicated beast. When I started thinking about all the complications and potential layers to this superhero, I just got more and more intrigued. It was also something I was a little bit afraid of. That’s good, too. Any writer should get out of his or her comfort zone, and this was way outside of mine.

“So I took a deep breath and decided to go for it. I did not truthfully commit to doing it until I wrote the script. I was going to try writing it, and if I failed on my own terms, I would say no. If I thought, Yeah, this is something I believe in, then I’d turn it in. And it was something I ultimately did get behind. It was hard, but I had a good time writing it. And Warner Bros. and DC both responded very positively — and off we went.”

He also spoke a bit of the casting of Adrianne Palicki as the legendary heroine. “It was not an easy search, but it went far quicker than I ever imagined,” he said. “After writing this script, I remember looking at several people and going, ‘Yeah, now good luck trying to find her.’ She’s got to be strong, smart, emotionally accessible — and oh yeah, an Amazon! Good luck. I remember speaking to DC, and saying, ‘We may have to compromise on the physicality. We need to go with the best actress. And if the best actress is five-foot-five, we have to be open to that, because there’s too many layers for this character to also demand that she be nearly six feet tall.” And then lo and behold, in comes this girl named Adrianne Palicki.”

“I had seen her on Friday Night Lights and I always liked her work, but I didn’t get a sense of her stature,” he continued. “I guess he was sitting down in a lot of the scenes. So she stood up, and we met — eyeball to eyeball — she smiled … and I knew during the course of the conversation that this was Wonder Woman. I just knew it. I had an instinctive feeling that this was her. So then she read. And she was. And she is.”

You can read the entire Vulture interview here.


  1. MikoPike

    I will admit to being a little dubious about the businesswoman angle for the new show, but at least it sounds like thought went into the development and casting. The character did need a fresh take so here’s hoping this is the right formula. It’s fun to hear some insights about the behind-the-scenes process of it all. Wishing the whole project luck.

  2. Scott

    I am fully on board with Kelley, especially after these comments.

  3. Kevin La Born

    Nope. Not supporting this disaster. It’s yet another mishandling of what was once a great character. How sad that no woman stood up in Hollywood or Canada or wherever the hell else there might have been a Female that could have done this project right, with some semblance of taste and a waaaaaaaay better storyline. That “costume” is about as trashy as it gets. And so is this miserable attempt that will only end in a bargain bin. DC/Warner/Kelley: you all suck and will get none of my money ever again. Not even for a hopeful mole removal for the “star.”

  4. WonderFan

    The costume is a tragedy. The pants are hideous. The whole thing screams WRONG and INCOMPTENCE. Anyone with the slightest grip on WW would not have put her in THAT trashy costume.

  5. BH

    The costume needs to be fixed pronto. She needs to be in an actual Wonder Woman costume. HATE the pants. Instead of Cartoon Yellow they need a high qualilty metal looking finish.

    The eagle design ROCKS. (not the cartoon yellow finish though).

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