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Wonder Woman pilot script rewrites make her more badass… sort of

When David E. Kelley’s draft pilot script for Wonder Woman leaked online, the early reaction was not kind, to say the least. The script included lots of Diana crying, moping over ice cream, and hunching in a fetal position.

But since that draft, which was dated December 2010, there have been a ton of rewrites on Kelley’s script. And at least some of them seem to have been aimed at making Diana more of a formidable ass-kicker. We read the new pages, and here’s what’s different.

We got a hold of a bunch of Wonder Woman pages that were released for casting purposes, including some new revised pages released in February and March, as the pilot was shooting. A lot of the additions seem focused on making Diana seem more formidable, to head off criticisms that she’s too weepy and self-pitying. (It’s also possible the episode was bumped up from a one-hour to a two-hour pilot.) Here are some of the changes.

Spoilers ahead…

Random scenes where she lifts guys by their throats

There seem to be a bunch of these, that were added just so we could see Diana throwing her weight (so to speak) around. At one point, she confronts a pair of security guards, whom the script calls Frick and Frack. They tell her she can’t go up to the roof of a hospital, and she says, “I’m Wonder Woman. How do you think this ends?” And then she lifts one of them into the air by the throat and the other one by the chest, until they admit they’re goons working for her nemesis, Veronica Cale.

Wonder Woman pilot script rewrites make her more badass… sort of There’s also a hilarious scene where Diana is driving, and a male driver cuts her off in traffic and makes an obscene gesture. She gives him the finger, and he pulls in front of her, blocking her. They both get out of their cars, and he says his obscene gesture was “implying something that might be good for her.” He grabs her arm and says, “Maybe I should teach you some manners.”

Diana keeps saying things like, “Let go of me, sir” and “I’ll ask you again to remove your hand.” But he responds that he’ll let go of her arm when he feels like it, and calls her a “Prada bitch.” So she lifts him into the air by his throat.

As far as I can tell neither of these scenes advances the plot, they just let us see Wonder Woman lifting guys by their throats.

A beefed up final battle

Without giving any real spoilers, the final fight scene is beefed up considerably in the revised script. The dialogue is also revised to make it clear that the people Wonder Woman is fighting are prepared to use deadly force to stop her.

Wonder Woman pilot script rewrites make her more badass… sort ofAnd the actual fight scene is a lot longer and more detailed — at one point, the December 2010 draft just says “A SERIES OF FAST CLOSE UP CUTS — LEGS, ARMS… DIFFICULT TO TELL WHO’S WINNING AND WHO’S LOSING.” But the revised version dispenses with that ambiguity and gets down and dirty. A whole new sequence is added where one bad guy gets a knife to Wonder Woman’s throat, and she jams her thumb into his eye. Another guy, she deals with by getting on her back and using both legs to kick him into the air. The final bad guy chooses to surrender, so she knocks him out.

Wonder Woman’s motivations get fleshed out

The original pilot script starts with a young African American man, Willis, finding out he’s been accepted to college — and then keeling over with blood coming out of all his openings on his face because he was given some harmful experimental steroids. I’m pretty sure we never see Willis again in the December 2010 draft. But in the revised version, Wonder Woman goes to visit him in the hospital, and spends a lot of time with him — even promising to give him a ride in her plane if he gets better. And she convinces Willis’ mother not to seek vengeance on the people who did this to her son, because the mom has other kids who need her. Getting vengeance is Wonder Woman’s job, instead.

Plus other stuff

The above stuff is all the last-minute revisions that were pushed through while the pilot was already filming — but here are some other revisions that seem to have been made prior to filming.

Wonder Woman pilot script rewrites make her more badass… sort ofIn the new version, we also see Wonder Woman pull Steve Trevor out of a burning airplane when he crashes on Paradise Island. (In a flashback, of course.) One of the other Amazons, Artemis, says it’s too dangerous to go into the burning airplane, but Diana does it anyway. And the relationship between Steve and Diana seems more fleshed out, with it being even clearer that they still have the hots for each other.

And in the revised version, we meet Diana’s neighbor, William Marston — yes, named after her creator — who finds her cat, Robin, which has bitten him. So to make it up to William Marston, Diana goes out on a date with him — which ends badly, after William tells Diana he thinks Wonder Woman is a fascist. Ouch. Diana says, “This woman spends her whole life fighting for justice, and the idea that people think of her as a Fascist…” She is now glad that her cat bit this guy.

By: Charlie Jane Anders


What do you think of Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!




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