May 16, 2013 9:44am PT by Lesley Goldberg
CW's 'Wonder Woman' Prequel 'Amazon' Gets New Writer: 'Heroes' Aron Eli Coleite
The CW isn't done with Wonder Woman prequel Amazon.
After the high-profile adaptation of the famed DC Comics character failed to earn a pilot order this past season, the youth-skewing network ordered a new script for the origin story of Wonder Woman's alter-ego Diana of Themyscira.
Speaking to reporters Thursday following the network's upfront presentation to advertisers in New York, CW president Mark Pedowitz noted original Amazon writer Allan Heinberg (Grey's Anatomy) was no longer working on the rewrite and the project is still a priority. Replacing him is scribe Aron Eli Coleite, a writer with geek credits including Heroes and The River.
"It is being redeveloped, we're waiting for the script to come in; we haven't seen it yet," he said. "We are preparing to pilot it off-cycle should the script be what we want it to be. We do not want to produce something that doesn't work for that particular character -- it is the trickiest of all the DC characters to get done."
Amazon had strong buzz going into pilot season, with the network already eyeing potential leads. Talking to reporters in January at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, Pedowitz said his development team was waiting to see the script and was "busy casting Diana."
"Hopefully the script works the way we want," Pedowitz told THR, noting that the origin story of Diana Prince would be set in the present day -- instead of the character's original World War II-era origin -- with the network looking at both new and established actresses for the part. Pedowitz suggested that his team would continue to explore other DC properties as well.
Wonder Woman has had a string of bad luck at the broadcast networks. David E. Kelley tried unsuccessfully to bring the franchise to NBC in 2011 with Friday Night Lights' Adrianne Palicki attached. Despite landing a pilot order, NBC ultimately passed on the drama that featured Diana as a businesswoman/shy woman.
"As well crafted and contemporized as [the Kelley pilot] was, it was a big and radical shift for viewers to embrace this new idea -- and that may, to some degree, have had to do with why it didn’t make it," Warner Bros. TV president Peter Roth told THR in 2011, noting at the time that the character's future at another network was to be determined.
The CW's effort marked the latest in a long line of big- and small-screen takes on the famed heroine, following the 1975-79 TV series starring Lynda Carter. In 2005, Warner Bros. announced Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) would write and direct a film adaptation, which never materialized.
The comics, meanwhile, continue to reboot the hero, most recently connecting her romantically with Superman after a short-lived costume change that evolved Wonder Woman's costume from a sexy one-piece to include pants.
Coleite, whose résumé also includes Crossing Jordan, is repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman.