Director Zack Snyder tweeted out the reveal just now to the Comic-Con throng during Warner Bros’ Hall H panel:
Catch up on Deadline’s best film stories of the week:
Emerging Star Gal Gadot Set To Play Wonder Woman In ‘Batman Vs. Superman’
By Mike Fleming Jr. – Warner Bros and Zack Snyder have found their Wonder Woman. They’ve cast Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot in the iconic role and she will be part of Batman Vs. Superman, the film that will see Henry Cavill square off with Ben Affleck.
Paul Walker’s Manager Matt Luber Looks Back On 18 Years Growing Up Together
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: When they help build a Hollywood star career, agents and managers know it can all end in a moment. That usually comes in the form of a phone call, informing them that client has dropped them for another rep. While that is hard to bear, I have been imagining how much worse it has been for Luber Rocklin Entertainment’s Matt Luber. His 18-year run with Paul Walker ended with a Saturday phone call as Luber and his daughter were leaving a sports bar to attend a college football game in Phoenix. That is when Luber learned that Walker had died instantly at age 40 in a tragic car crash.
Ben Affleck On Playing Batman, And How Not To Accept An Academy Award
By Mike Fleming Jr. – For Playboy’s 60th anniversary issue, the magazine needed an iconic subject for the Playboy Interview, and I hit the lottery. I got to talk with actor-writer-director-producer Ben Affleck about his life and the remarkable second act that he wrote for himself as writer-director of Gone Baby Gone and The Town, which culminated in the Best Picture Oscar for Argo.
BREAKING: Warner Bros and Zack Snyder have found their Wonder Woman. They’ve cast Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot in the iconic role and she will be part of Batman Vs. Superman, the film that will see Henry Cavill square off with Ben Affleck. Gadot has been in three Fast & Furious films, as well as Knight And Day and Date Night. Given that Warner Bros has bolstered its starpower with Affleck and has Cavill returning from the summer hit Man Of Steel, it makes sense to groom new stars in the supporting roles, the way that Marvel has done. All this is clearly gearing toward the long-awaited Justice League film, all based on the DC Comics characters.
Self-financing viral shorts to attract studio attention worked for Mortal Kombat‘s Kevin Tancharoen and Y The Last Man‘s Dan Trachtenberg. Now it’s stunt-veteran-turned-director Jesse V. Johnson’s turn. The helmer behind Anchor Bay‘s The Package and the recently announced Kill ‘Em All, John (both vehicles for former wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin) put together $3500 and called in a lot of favors to make a “fan film” to demonstrate his chops beyond direct-to-video action fare. He cast Danish singer Nina Bergman as Wonder Woman and got Peter Stormare and Sons Of Anarchy‘s Timothy V. Murphy to play oily Nazis. The resulting video, produced by Hugh Daly and Faz Brahimi and aided by Johnson’s Station 3 manager and producing partner Kailey Marsh, made its way through the fanboy set after debuting today. That audience has been clamoring for Hollywood to figure out how to bring the DC heroine to life in the two years since NBC pulled the plug on David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman series. Meanwhile Warner Bros.’ Justice League pic is still in the works and The CW last month rolled their Amazon project to next season. Watch Johnson’s Wonder Woman short here:
EXCLUSIVE: The CW just wrapped its pilot orders for this season with eight pickups, including planted The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals. Amazon was not among them, and I have learned that the network has decided to roll the Wonder Woman origin project to next season. Additionally, I hear the CW may order an off-cycle pilot, so Amazon may go into production sooner if the network is happy with the final script.
Amazon was the first project this development cycle to begin preliminary casting back in November when Warner Bros TV started exploring choices for the lead, Diana, while the script by Allan Heinberg was still being written. “We’re waiting to see the script and are busy casting Diana,” the CW president Mark Pedowitz said at TCA earlier this month. In the end, I hear the CW brass felt the project needed more time.
UPDATE: No reason for panic, Wonder Woman fans. While the warrior princess character is listed on the breakdown as Iris, not Diana, I’ve confirmed that, as writer Allan Heinberg hinted on Twitter after I posted the story, that is just a code name the producers used to avoid attention. So much for that…
PREVIOUS: To all actresses in their early to mid-20s who are 5’8″ or taller — you may be TV’s next Wonder Woman. I’ve learned that Warner Bros TV, the studio behind the CW drama project Amazon, has hired casting directors Barbara Fiorentino and Danielle Aufiero to launch a search for the lead in the project in anticipation of a potential pilot pickup. A breakdown for the role has been released, providing a glimpse into the Tarzan-like fish-out-of-water premise and the central character of the Wonder Woman origin story written by Allan Heinberg that chronicles the female superhero’s life as a young Amazonian, before she becomes a warrior princess with super powers.
Warner Bros. TV is taking another stab at a live-action series based on the DC character of Wonder Woman. This time, it is via the most popular approach for rebooting (comic) book franchises at the moment: going back to an origins story. The CW has given a script commitment to a drama, tentatively titled Amazon, which will chronicle Diana as a young Amazonian, before she becomes a warrior princess with super powers. The project, first reported by Vulture, will be written by Allan Heinberg (Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C.). It is unclear what origins for the character the TV project will chose — the comics’ stories have varied from Diana being a clay figure brought to life by the magic of the gods to her being a demigoddess, the natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus.
The approach is similar to WBTV’s take on Superman, which resulted in the long-running Smallville. It was also applied to Sex And The City with the upcoming CW/WBTV series Carrie’s Diaries. In features, there has been a string of origins editions of tentpole comic book franchise lately, including X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class and the latest Spider-Man movie. WBTV previously tried a live-action Woder Woman series two seasons ago, when David E. Kelley’s got a pilot order but did not go to series.
EXCLUSIVE: An insider just told me that DC Entertainment at Warner Bros is “in the throes of turning the comic book industry on its head” with a massive publishing relaunch. “DC Comics – The New 52” (see exclusive video below) is a bold renumbering of all of DC’s superhero comics (52 all-new #1 issues). And the industry-changing move is to now offer comics for sale digitally on the very same day as physically. “The New 52” kicks off at midnight tonight in comic shops across the nation. Now, some details may have leaked out to the comic book pundits. But I can tell you exclusively that the first printing of Justice League #1 has officially sold out today in advance of tomorrow’s on-sale date, and DC is rushing back to press for a second printing. (Yes, I know: these things almost always sell out. And in the not-so-old days sold way more.) Over 200,000 physical copies of JL1, along with tens of thousands of digital copies, are expected to be sold worldwide. I understand that Justice League #1 has a particular connection to DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson’s exec team, as its writer is DCE’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and its artist is DCE’s Co-Publisher Jim Lee, two of the biggest creators in the industry. The pair will be signing at Midtown Comics in NYC’s Times Square tonight. Insiders are calling it “the beginning of the biggest comic industry publishing event in nearly a decade”. I’m told that “DC Comics – The New 52” will continue launching throughout September, with new #1 titles for Action Comics, Batman, Detective, Flash, Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman releasing in-store and online every Wednesday. Here’s the video teaser:
(See the cover art bigger after the jump.)
UPDATE: Readers alerted us that the Wonder Woman clips have been disabled, which is not surprising as their use probably constituted copyright violation and got attorneys for producer Warner Bros. TV on the case.
PREVIOUS: Had it been picked up to series, NBC’s Wonder Woman pilot would’ve been one of the main attractions at Comic-Con. Instead, scenes from the pilot, created by David E. Kelley, are making the rounds online at the same time the convention is underway in San Diego. While the leaked footage is not from the delivered pilot and is missing special effects and other post-production touches, it gives an idea why NBC passed on the project. Below is the opening chase sequence, whose filming closed portions of Hollywood Blvd., and a boardroom scene, featuring star Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman’s alter ego Diana Prince.
It had a great, promotable brand, top female superhero, Wonder Woman, experienced TV creator behind it, David E. Kelley, and an appealing star, Adrianne Palicki. So why didn’t the Wonder Woman pilot go to series? We’ll probably need Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth to find out what NBC’s executives really thought of the pilot and why exactly they decided not to go with it, but here are some potential reasons.
Despite some negative early speculation, the pilot was not a disaster as some suggested. People who have seen it describe it as “ambitious” and “well crafted”. But its screenings and testing were very mixed. “The audience couldn’t buy into the modernization,” one insider said. There were early signs of resistance against updating the classic franchise and the character when fans slammed the superhero’s new, contemporary costume. “It was a conceptual thing,” another insider said. “Do we need a comic book hero?” While superheroes they have done gangbusters on the big screen, there haven’t been successful recent comic book-based TV series except for the teen angst-filled Smallville, which was not a straight adaptation of the Superman comics but rather an original prequel. Maybe that’s why there was ambivalence in the marketplace when Kelley’s Wonder Woman spec was first taken out in early January. There were no takers until Bob Greenblatt started at NBC and picked it up to pilot, along with another Warner Bros. TV drama, Michael Patrick King’s …
NBC is yet to make their “sorry, you have not been picked up” calls, but the fate of several high-profile projects has already been sealed. David E. Kelley’s reboot of Wonder Woman is not going forward. Also not getting a pickup is the Don Johnson hairdresser drama A Mann’s World, written and directed by Michael Patrick King. And an order for Stephen Gaghan’s sprawling drama Metro is considered extremely unlikely too. This may not be the end of the road for A Mann’s World, a well-received pilot, mostly for King’s direction and Johnson’s on-screen presence. I hear it will probably be shopped to cable networks, which makes sense as many who have seen the pilot say it has cable sensibility.
The marathon pilot screenings at the broadcast networks are in full force. While they are rarely the deciding factor in the networks’ final series pickup decisions, they help solidify early standouts’ frontrunner positions and sometimes breathe life into pilots that might have been written off too soon. Here are some updates I heard today. (If some pilots, like ALCATRAZ and POE, are not mentioned in this update, they are in the one from yesterday, so check out that one too.)
The only element of uncertainly about GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES‘ future as a new ABC series next season seems to be what it will be called as it will definitely won’t be GCB. After a great screening today, the dramedy executive produced by Darren Star appears a sure thing, possibly as a companion to Desperate Housewives given that it’s been referred to as “Desperate Housewives in Dallas.” Probably the biggest surprise today was the mixed reaction to Shonda Rhimes’ drama SCANDAL, once considered a lock. But with Rhimes behind it, the project is still in the running. Also mixed was the reaction to family/dance drama GRACE, which once again got praise for its elaborate dance sequences and not so much for the narrative. Still a possibility to run behind Dancing With the Stars. Early comedy favorites, SUBURGATORY and SMOTHERED, continue to fly high after good screenings today and yesterday, respectively. Reaction to the Jenna Elfman-starring comedy BAD MOM was more mixed. …
There are a slew of pics on the Internet today from last night’s Wonder Woman shoot on Hollywood Boulevard. Production for the NBC pilot closed the touristy street between Orange and Highland starting Tuesday for a three-day shoot that will continue tonight and Thursday night. The Warner Bros. Television production is filming an action scene featuring star Adrianne Palicki in Wonder Woman gear as she chases a bad guy down the street. (She’s in the top photo; the second photo is a stunt double.) The David E. Kelley’s reboot of the popular DC Comics franchise stars Palicki as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, a successful corporate executive working to balance the elements of her complicated life. Note the costume, which got a bit of a retouch since a first look was unveiled a couple of weeks ago to mostly negative reaction from fans. (Vinyl leggings are out, red boots are in!)
Former Knight Rider star Justin Bruening has joined another reboot for NBC, the network’s pilot Wonder Woman. The David E. Kelley-penned project stars Adrienne Palicki as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, a successful corporate executive working to balance the elements of her complicated life. Innovative-repped Bruening will play Steve Trevor, a leading man Diana can’t look past, an army vet who now works in the Justice department.
Desperate Housewives alum Mark Deklin has been added to ABC’s dramedy pilot Good Christian Bitches. It stars Leslie Bibb as Amanda, a mother of two and onetime “mean girl” in high school who returns home to Dallas humbled following a scandalous divorce, hoping to get a second chance at winning over her old classmates. Deklin will play a rugged, metrosexual cowboy married to one of the classmates, Cricket (Miriam Shor). Deklin, repped by APA and MBM, recently co-starred on Lone Star and is recurring on Hawaii Five-0 and Hot in Cleveland.
Dexter alum David Ramsey has been cast in the CW pilot Cooper & Stone, about Jenna Cooper (Alex Breckenridge) and Stone (Vanessa Ferlito), two smart female detectives on Chicago’s North Side who are best friends, equally adept at discussing fashion, music and pop culture as they are at solving homicides. Ramsey, repped by APA and Principato-Young, will play Mazzara, a veteran cop who has no patience for rookies but is tight with Stone. He most recently co-starred on NBC’s Outlaw.
Warner Bros TV just released the first image of Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman in the studio’s drama pilot for NBC about the popular superhero, written and executive produced by David E. Kelley. You can compare her look with that of Lynda Carter from the 1970s series. The cast of the reboot, which was a last-minute pilot pickup from new NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt in January, includes Cary Elwes, Tracie Thoms, Pedro Pascal and Elizabeth Hurley as a guest star.
EXCLUSIVE: Cary Elwes is set to co-star opposite Adrienne Palicki in David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman reboot for NBC. The project stars Palicki as comic book heroine Wonder Woman/Diana Themyscira/Diana Prince, who is a successful corporate executive working to balance all the elements of her complicated life. Elwes will play Henry Detmer, the acting CEO of Themyscira Industries, who is deeply devoted to Diana. He runs the day-to-day operations of the company and acts like an uncle to Diana, though he could be a possible love interest down the line. Elwes’ only previous regular TV series gig was his starring role on The X-Files. He recently did a couple episodes of USA’s Psych. The actor, repped by APA and KLWG, is filming Gary Marshall’s New Year’s Eve and was recently seen in No Strings Attached. He has Tin Tin coming out later this year.
British actor Joe Anderson (Across the Universe) has landed the lead in ABC’s drama pilot The River directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The horror thriller, from DreamWorks TV, ABC Studios and Paranormal Activity mastermind Oren Peli, centers on Lincoln Cole (Anderson) who, after his famous TV explorer father goes missing way up the Amazon, reluctantly abandons his medical studies and follows in his father’s footsteps – accompanied by a small camera crew, and with Something Deadly in the water, waiting for him. Anderson, repped by CAA, Management 360 and U.K.’s United Agents, co-stars in the two-part The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, in which he plays English nomadic vampire Alistair.
Another twentysomething Brit, Lucy Griffiths, has landed the lead in the CW’s zombie thriller Awakening. The project, from WBTV and Reveille, is about two sisters coming of age and facing off against one another amidst the beginning of a zombie uprising. It centers on the older sister, Jenna (Griffiths), an attorney in the New York City’s public defender’s office who, like her sister, is a zombie. This marks the first U.S. acting gig for Griffiths, which stems from the talent holding deal she inked last month with CW’s sibling network CBS. In the U.K., the actress, repped by the Kohner Agency, Principal and the U.K.’s Hamilton/Hodell, played Maid Marian on BBC’s Robin Hood.
UPDATED: Elizabeth Hurley has been tapped for a potentially recurring role in David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman reboot for NBC starring Adrianne Palicki as the comic book heroine who, in the new version, is a successful corporate executive working to balance all of the elements in her complicated life. Pending visa clearance, British actress Hurley will guest star in the pilot as villain Veronica Cale, the beautiful, highly educated head of one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the country who is afflicted with serious deep-seated Wonder Woman envy. Cold Case alumna Tracie Thoms will play the regular role of Etta, Diana Themyscira (Palicki)’s always cheerful personal assistant.
I’m hearing that How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders has emerged as the front runner for the role of SHIELD Agent Maria Hill in the Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers and that a deal could be done before the weekend is out. The role has been the subject of high speculation since Samuel L. Jackson gave it up in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that he would be reading as Nick Fury alongside five actresses vying for an unidentified female sidekick role. That audition happened yesterday. Reports had V’s Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as other candidates. Smulders wasn’t completely unknown to Whedon. In fact, he liked her as a candidate for Wonder Woman when he was working on that superhero film. Deadline has learned that the role is Maria Hill, who in the comics was the ruthless interim executive director of SHIELD, who was not above blackmailing and bullying superheros to get her way. She was eventually supplanted in that top job by Tony Stark aka Iron Man. As with all Marvel movies, the deal comes with a pile of options for appearances in future superhero films. She’s repped by UTA and Roar. Marvel Studios starts production in April, which presumably falls into Smulders’ TV hiatus on the CBS sitcom.
The Avengers will be released by Disney May 4, 2012, and it shapes up as …