Superman and Batman have been the subject of various live-action films, enjoying portrayals from the likes of Christopher Reeve, Christian Bale, and Henry Cavill. But the third member of DC's Holy Trinity has yet to leave Paradise Island -- until now.
Wonder Woman will finally make her blockbuster debut in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" before headlining her solo film in 2017.
It's been a long journey on the road of development hell for Warner Bros., which has spent years trying to make a Wonder Woman movie (or TV show) happen. Here are 11 notable times they tried, and failed.
1. "Who's Afraid of Diana Prince?" (1967)
What Went Wrong: Actress Ellie Wood Walker played Wonder Woman for a presentation reel for a prospective TV series. Following the success of the Batman," "Who's Afraid of Diana Prince?" featured a similar style of camp. It's unclear why the network execs passed on this project specifically, but perhaps you can draw your own conclusions from the footage. Click here to watch.
2. Cathy Lee Crosby's "Wonder Woman" (1974)
What Went Wrong: Before Lynda Carter's iconic television series, tennis star Cathy Lee Crosby snagged her first major role in a Wonder Woman TV movie. The hope was for this to act as a pilot and segway into a series, but it didn't perform well enough. This Wonder Woman shared few similarities to her comic book counterpart. As Crosby told ComicBookMovie.com in 2012, Warner Bros. wanted her to be more like, um, James Bond.
3. Ivan Reitman's "Wonder Woman" (1996)
What Went Wrong:Ivan Reitman tried to produce a Wonder Woman movie for Warner Bros, developing several treatments over the years. According to HitFix, he had one more shot to get it right around 1998. He missed again, so the "Ghostbusters" helmer fell off the project.
4. Joss Whedon's "Wonder Woman" (2005)
In 2001, Joel Silver inherited the responsibility of getting a Wonder Woman movie off the ground. A number of writers were hired to develop the story, including Todd Alcott, with the hope being that Sandra Bullock would take on the role. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Angelina Jolie, Lucy Lawless, and other actresses were courted. This project, too, never got off the ground. Eventually, Joss Whedon was brought on to write and direct in 2005. There was even a poster released that year at Comic-Con.
Whedon imagined his future Maria Hill, Cobie Smulders, in the role, playing a Wonder Woman who was envisioned to be "naive about people," but she eventually warms to mankind through Steve Trevor. Whedon announced his departure from the project in 2007, the reason being, as reported by THR, that he "had a take on the film that, well, nobody liked."
5. The "Wonder Woman" Spec Script (2007)
What Went Wrong: Before Whedon departed the project, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures purchased a spec script in 2007 for "Wonder Woman" by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The script featured a World War II setting, which Silver had no interest in. But, he purchased it anyway. Why? According to THR, it was "a pre-emptive measure aimed at taking the spec off the market" to protect the studio from future legal action -- just in case there were any similarities between the spec and the script Silver was developing.
6. George Miller's "Justice League Mortal" (2007)
What Went Wrong: Following Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins," Warner Bros. decided to let George Miller ("Mad Max: Fury Road") try his hand at directing a Justice League movie.
"Justice League Mortal" moved forward with a script and a cast that included Megan Gale as Wonder Woman (pictured). The film fell through, thanks in part to a looming writers strike and Australian rebate legislation. The failed attempt lives on, however, as the subject of an upcoming documentary.
7. Nicolas Winding Refn's Project (2010)What Went Wrong: While making the promotional rounds for "Drive," director Nicolas Winding Refn expressed his interest in helming "Wonder Woman," saying he hoped to make this his "$200 million extravaganza," according to Movieline in 2010.
He mentioned a year later that he spoke to "a comic book writer" to learn more about the character, and his top choice for Diana would be Christina Hendricks (above). Ultimately, all this talk boiled down to chatter that never went anywhere.
8. NBC's "Wonder Woman" (2011)
What Went Wrong: NBC produced a "Wonder Woman" pilot for the 2011-2012 season. It had a script (from David E. Kelley) and a star (Adrianne Palicki), but it didn't get picked up to series for a number of reasons. Bad reviews at test screenings and harsh reactions to the costume (pictured) online didn't help matters. Worse? The pilot script leaked onto the internet and was bashed by critics.
9. Paul Feig's "Wonder Woman" (2013)
What Went Wrong: Feig, who would go on to helm the female-led "Ghostbusters" reboot, told IGN in 2013 he recently pitched a Wonder Woman concept to Warners, as someone akin to suffragist Cicely Hamilton. He described his iteration as someone who "keeps hitting the glass ceiling" of the superhero world and sparring with misogynist versions of Batman and Superman. IGN also implied in thw this concept was too outlandish for the studio.
10. The CW's "Amazon" (2012)
What Went Wrong: As The CW was getting "Arrow" off the ground and developing a pilot for "The Flash," the network announced a Wonder Woman origin series called "Amazon."
After the script was redeveloped, CW decided not to move forward with it. Their reasoning, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was that "you only get one shot before you get bit." Likely attributing to this decision was the announcement of Gadot's casting on the film side of DC for "Batman v Superman" a month prior.
11. Michelle MacLaren's "Wonder Woman" (2015)
What Went Wrong: MacLaren, known for directing episodes of "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones," was originally hired by Warner Bros. to helm Gadot's solo "Wonder Woman" film. She eventually departed the project reportedly over creative differences. According to Variety, she wanted to make a "Braveheart"-esque epic, while the studio wanted something less action heavy and more character driven.
Patty Jenkins now helms the film, set for release on June 23, 2017. You can finally see Wonder Woman in action when "Batman v Superman" hits theaters March 24.
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