Rewrites make Wonder Woman more badass, create bigger final battle

TV Arts


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

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.

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.

And 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
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,

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.

In 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.
After all the stuff about being bad-ass, Diana has a cat?
Yeah, but it's a *bad-ass* cat.
Let me guess:  you think cats are cute, fluffy little dolls.  :P
Who ask for cheeseburgers in broken English?
Who ask for cheeseburgers in broken English?

Why would a cat speak broken English (provided it could speak a human 
language at all)?  Wouldn't it speak whatever language was spoken in the 
country it was born in?  And why "broken"?  Are they really thinking cats 
are too stupid to learn to speak properly?  Do they know *anything* about 
Or he thinks that women who keep cats think that. Meow.
*ROTFL*  I have two.  Neither of them is cute and fluffy, and the last one I 
saw that *was* cute and fluffy was also meaner than a snake - probably 
because it was sick and tired of people who wanted to pick it up and coo 
over it because it was "cute and fluffy."
My present roommates have a cat that I used to think was a dumb as 
Stupid - you remember Stupid, the cat we had in Missouri? Turns 
out, she's just subtle. She has learned out to turn off a computer 
when she wants attention by slapping the power switch.
*LOL*  Mine just comes up and walks on the keyboard.  Although I have seen 
the female try to open doors that were shut when she wants into a room 
you're trying to keep her out of!  Luckily, we have the round door handles, 
so she doesn't succeed.  No opposable thumbs!
There was a cat in England who learned to open a window when she 
wanted out. Saved the house from a fire, when the smoke was spotted 
by a neighbor much, much earlier than it would have been otherwise.
That's interesting.  Wonder what kind of windows they had? Cranks, maybe?
I believe so, yes. In any event, said cat went from "That damned 
cat opened the window when it's cold outside again" to "Here, 
kitty, have a nice piece of fish."
Heh.  I imagine so.  Cats and dogs are a lot smarter than most people give 
them credit for.
Domesticated animals bred as pets generally are. Dogs, in 
particular, are smart about people. There are only a handful of 
animals that, if you point at something, will know you want them to 
look at what you're pointing at. (Chimps will think you want them 
to look at your finger.) There's a border collie that has a 
vocabulation of a couple thousand words (names of toys), who can 
figure out that a new name she's never heard before is likely for 
the new toy she's never seen before.
Probably just a knob.
Get serious.  Have you ever tried to turn a knob without using your thumb?

Have you actually seen windows that just have knobs?  I've seen windows that 
slide up, down, and sideways, and windows with cranks.  I don't think I've 
ever seen a window with just a knob.
A cat that hungers for human flesh.
I suppose she has to eat.