Friday Night Lights’ Adrianne Palicki to Play Wonder Woman

Feb 18th, 2011 | By | Category: Art and Entertainment

Adrianne Palicki, costar of NBC’s Friday Night Lights, has won the long search to fill Lynda Carter’s boots as Wonder Woman. Palicki is set to star in NBC’s upcoming TV adaptation of the comic-book heroine, it was announced Wednesday.

Wonder Woman was invented by psychologist William Moulton Marston in 1941 in an effort to provide a strong role model for female readers, “to create a character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” Descended from the Amazons of Greek mythology, Wonder Woman wields strength and speed rivaling that of Superman, along with animal telepathy, a boomerang tiara, magical bullet-blocking bracelets, a lasso that forces captives to tell the truth, and an invisible jet with stealth capability. In Marston’s original conception, unlike Superman and most male superheroes of the time, Wonder Woman only resorted to force after appeals to reason and efforts to reform the villain had failed. Some later incarnations of the character have maintained this quality, while others have made her more warlike. When not in her superheroine role, Wonder Woman operates undercover as US government agent Diana Prince.

Wonder Woman has been published in comic-book form by DC Comics since 1941.

The first live-action adaptation of Wonder Woman was attempted in 1967 by the producers of the Batman TV series, but failed to get past a test screening. ABC met moderate success in 1974 with a second adaptation, starring Cathy Lee Crosby as a modified version of the character who lacked superpowers and was more like a female James Bond.

The next year ABC achieved greater ratings success by returning to the character’s roots and casting Lynda Carter in the starring role. Carter starred for one season at ABC and two more at CBS, which picked up the series. She came to define the character in the public eye.

The character has been featured in numerous cartoons and animated movies since the 1970s, most recently in a full-length animated film in 2009. But live-action adaptations have proven hard-pressed to follow up on Carter’s definitive interpretation.

A television adaptation attempt in the 1990s foundered in the casting stage over failure to find an actress comparable to Carter.

Since 2001 a Wonder Woman movie project has similarly struggled with scriptwriting and casting obstacles. The latest reports claim that Warner Brothers, which owns DC Comics, is developing a film for release in 2013. But despite over a decade of rumors surrounding dozens of actresses, no actress since Carter has received a definite nod to play the Amazon Princess in a live-action role until Palicki.

Palicki, a native of Toledo, Ohio, was a track star in high school and stands at 5’11″, approximately the height of the original character. She has previously starred as an imitation of Supergirl and as the supervillain Siren, both roles related to Warner Brothers’ TV show Smallville. She has also appeared in recurring roles on WB’s Supernatural and FOX’s Lone Star, and she costars in MGM’s remake of Red Dawn, to be released later this year.

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