UPDATED: The CW Preps New ‘AMAZON’ Wonder Woman Drama, Now with 100% More Diana

Amazon Prime

UPDATE: Deadline is now reporting that “Iris,” as we suggested might be the case, was merely a code name for the character. The pilot for Amazon will feature a Diana after all. Now they just have to write the thing. And all the other stuff that comes after. We use “after” loosely, of course.

And now, the original article:

It’s been around 18 months since NBC passed of David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman pilot, but there may be hope for DC Comic’s leading lady in her bid to lasso TV audiences. Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports that the CW and Warner Brothers are looking for an actress in her early to mid 20s, 5’8″ or taller, to fill the lead role in Allan Heinberg’s Amazon, a Wonder Woman origin story.

Here’s the thing. That lead’s name will not be Diana. TV’s new Wonder Woman is a young “fish-out-of-water” called Iris.

It wouldn’t be the first time a superhero’s given name didn’t make the jump to the silver screen. Bruce was famously re-christened David “Lonely Man” Banner for CBS’ Incredible Hulk series in the late 70s.  Why? Reportedly the studio feared that ‘Bruce’ was widely considered a ‘gay name’ and aloso hoped to sidestep such comic book silliness as Stan Lee style alliteration. Other than corollaries to the late princess of Wales and the recent failed Wonder Woman series, we’re scratching our heads as to why the CW is distancing itself from “Diana.” It could be as simple as the desire for a fresh start. It may even be a placeholder designed to conceal the character’s true identity so as not to deter any actors who might otherwise shy away from comic book adaptations.

Regardless, it all sounds a bit more promising than Kelley’s premise, which seemed overladen with Diana’s three interconnected lives. Amazon appears to be a back-to-basics approach, grounded in the character’s origins as a warrior maiden, unfettered by that last Diana’s corporate and merchandising frustrations.

Here’s Andreeva’s commentary on the call sheet:

According to the breakdown I’ve obtained, her name is Iris (not Diana). “She comes from a remote, secluded country and until now has spent most of her life as a soldier and a leader on the battlefield. Because of relentless brutality of her life at home, Iris looks at our world with absolute awe and astonishment. She’s delighted ­and just as often horrified ­ by the aspects of everyday life that we take for granted: skyscrapers, traffic, ice cream. It’s all new and fascinating and sometimes slightly troubling ­to her. Iris is completely unschooled in our world, our culture, our customs. And she’s completely inexperienced at interpersonal relationships. She has no social filter, does not suffer fools, and tends to do and say exactly what’s on her mind at all times. She’s bluntly, refreshingly honest. She can tell when you’re lying to her. And she doesn’t have time or patience for politics or tact because she’s too busy trying to experience everything our world has to offer. There are too many sights to see ­and things to learn ­and people to care for. Hers is a true, noble, and generous heart. And she will fight and die for the people she loves. Iris is a fierce warrior with the innocent heart of a romantic and she will fight to the death to make the world safe for innocents and true romantics everywhere.”

True romantics? That’s me!


  1. Well, considering its not even a Greek name, its not that big a loss. Remember – Diana was a Roman derivative of the Greek Artemis. It would be cool if they played Wonder Woman as an immortal – Highlander Style – and she could flash back to Troy and ancient Athens. Righteous!

    • Iris – Greco-Roman goddess of the rainbow, messenger of Hera/Juno. So, still tied into mythology, and maybe the rainbow motif will play into her characterization. Or presage the coming of the Lanterns.

  2. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……rage building…..at……pointless name change that……belittles the long history of…..the character and………….comics!

    Seriously why change it? It will only confuse people and both sides of the comic book reading fence. If you like the show and decide to pick up a Wonder Woman comic you are presented with a different character. If you like the comics and decide to watch the show you are presented with a big F-YOU and Diana is no longer Diana.

    • On the flipside you don’t get fanboys bitching about the character not being completely identical to the comics because it’s a different character (wait, scratch that, people will complain whatever).
      Personally I’ve always liked looser adaptations, different medium are very different (obviously) and you often have to make changes for a story to thrive on another format.
      People forget the word ‘adapt’ literal means to ‘change’, this isn’t a ‘translation’ of the comic from page to screen it’s an ‘adaptation’.
      The comics aren’t going anyway, if you want something that’s completely, 100% faithful to the source material just read the source material.
      I don’t mean that in an insulting way, if you like the comics then read the comics, hopefully they’ll be able to make the story work for the screen.
      I’ve never understood people who want completely 100% faithful, everything in the book must make it to the screen, translations, surely if you’ve already enjoyed the story in one format you don’t want exactly the same thing in another you want something different.
      In short, change can be good, embrace it.
      Also we have no evidence they are actually changing the characters name for all we know Diana could be in the series as a older role model who passes the mantel on to someone else or it’s just a production name.

    • Yes, there are some fanboys who want everything to be 100% the same. These are the same people who hate The Dark Knight or Walking Dead. Always going to have those and there’s nothing particularly ‘wrong’ about their opinion either.

      I accept change if it works. The Arrow series is a good example. It works well, as does the adpatation in Dark Knight.

      But I think, even with adaptations and change, we are talking about franchise characters with long histories in pop culture. While they can be updated and altered to keep up with the times, you still want to seem some resemblance to the an icon that’s existed longer than most of us.

      At least with the Hulk, he was still ‘Banner’. If I renamed a certain millionaire as Elmo McFinkelstein, heir of the McFinkelstein riches… could he still be Batman to you? Probably, if everything else about his character remained intact, it would just take time to get used to it. Iris is a bit odd, but its not like people can’t get used to it. Maybe ‘Diana’ will become some hidden alter-ego ala ‘Clark Kent’.

      Aronofsky, whose films I love, had the worst idea for a Batman film and I’m glad he never did one. its a prime example of stripping out everything that makes the character who they are. Then why even call it Batman? There’s a lot more to who Batman is other than ‘a guy who dresses up and fights crime after his parents are killed’.

      Or look at Harry Potter… while I’m sure there are probably differences from book to film, is there anything of the sort like renaming a major character? If so, how did Harry Potter book fans respond? The mere suggestion that TMNT are inter-dimensional aliens rather than mutated turtles brought an overwhelming crush of nerd rage.

      There are just certain core traits that should remain intact or else all you get is just a name brand with a different product inside. I think this is what people have a problem with. You can make Zingers and put them on the shelf next to Twinkies, but you can’t put ZInges in a Twinkie wrapper and expect everyone to be ok with it.

      Oddly enough… I never hear anyone complain about History of Violence…. where the movie ended up being a lot more entertaining than the comic book. But again, it just reinforces that ‘change’ has to be balanced by ‘popularity’. The more popular a franchise, the less character-specific traits can be changed.

    • I don’t think your theory works @JesseCuster. I do enjoy the new WW comic by Azzerello, but alot (Most?) of WW’s female fans hate the new stuff that I’ve heard from. So maybe by all changes made to WW’s mytholgy (Oh, totally accedental!) that Azzerello made he may have alienated the more hardcore fans, which lead to that series becoming one the top selling titles. Yet Superman continues to anguish unless you count Morrison’s Action Comics. I don’t know where everyone else falls on the true fan, new fan, older fan table, I’m just gonna assume everyelse besides me knows the character well enough to be called a fan.What I’m getting at is that this tv series may not be Arrow, and it might just drop and add and tweak everything about the character until she is pretty unrecognizable from the comics. I can gurantee you it will be nothing like the current comic unless it’s moved to a new network. But, I enjoy “Arrow” and I did enjoy “Smallville” for the most part, so maybe CW can handle the comic adaptations. However, at same time that we got “Arrow”, CW added “Beauty and the Beast” remake. The future is filled with uncertainity.

    • On a related note I didn’t like any of the Harry Potter films that where true to the books (and I liked the book), my least favorate were 5 and 6 because they changed very little but had to cut out a lot to fit the 2 hour screen time, so what you got where a series of scenes taked from the book in chronological order with no narrative flow. My favorate film was the third because they just took the rough story from the book and made it work as a film.
      As for Aronofsky’s Batman flick, I’ve heard about it and would certainly be interested to see what it would have looks like.
      Personally I’m at the completely opposite end of the spectrum to a lot of fans, as long as the film is good as a film I couldn’t care less about it’s accuracy. You could make a film called Spider-Man about a French Ballet dancer who dresses up as a spider and as long as it was a good film about a French Ballet dancer who dresses up as a spider I’d like it.
      That’s just my opinion and I feel the same way about historical films or adaptation of true stories you could add green aliens in there as long as it’s entertaining.

  3. What if the change is just for the call sheet? Hiding the true role for actresses who may otherwise be disuaded from putting their name forward. Or is that just me being too hopeful? 😛

  4. Can’t wait to see this, the wonder woman comics are so good but I doubt this show will come close. Still better than nothing. They should put this chick in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-ydyTywZn8&list=PLr7REBc1Y9487JsBuhWbRuH-n8z0gZv8Y&index=7&feature=plpp_video

  5. Iris could be the writers playing with the idea of the iris of an eye – that we’re seeing our world through a stranger’s eyes…?

    Overall, the setup & tone, and even the title, feel a lot like the “Arrow” series (I’m not saying the content, mind you). If that show is doing well for CW, this may be them trying to create a similar tone for Wonder Woman.

    • That’s exactly the vibe I got from it, perhaps they may end up even being in the same universe, I’d like to see that.
      What other DC characters do titles like that work for? Lantern, Kane, Flash, Prey, Atlantis, Selina.

    • Hmmm… would love for this to be the same universe as Arrow. Makes a lot of sense.

      Of course… what I would like to see then is a series called ‘Gotham’. 🙂

    • Yes, I’d love a Gotham Central series but I don’t know if the CW would be the right network for that.

  6. I honestly can’t say that description wows me. And yes, I am annoyed at the idea of the name change (though I realize it’s not official).

    Still, I enjoyed Smallville (well, not ALL of it) and I’m really liking Arrow. So I guess I’ll keep an open mind.

  7. I would love it if Diana/Iris coming to America was done in the third or fourth season and in the first season they set up the Island of Themyscera. Arrow has a similar reintroduction to society angle, so I’d rather start from this amazing Amazonian Island then have her leave, so we as the audience are there with her instead of questioning her like we do with Ollie in Arrow.
    Here’s a link to my ideas on how to make a Wonder Woman TV show: http://www.ign.com/blogs/kraken89/2011/03/19/a-way-to-make-an-awesome-wonder-woman-series

    • I don’t think the viewing audience, which will probably be primarily American, will wait til season 3 or 4 for her to come to America. I think it would make much more sense to use the flashbacks like they have on Arrow. Not saying she shouldn’t address global concerns, she definitely should. But she needs to start off smaller.

      I like a number of your ideas, but not the one about the threat being a lie to keep them from leaving. What are they preparing for and guarding against? This could be one or more pivotal events in the future seasons of the show. Some ancient evil unleashed, and Diana has to call the Amazon army for backup.

      They also need to address Amazon procreation. They’re either immortal, and Diana is the youngest and an offspring of Zeus like in the current comics, or they have to go on breeding trips or something.

  8. As updated in the source article, Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns have tweets blatantly suggesting Iris is just a production codename for Diana.

  9. From Geoff Johns on twitter:

    @geoffjohns: If a WW show happens her name is of course DIANA. Codenames (like IRIS) are used in casting a lot to try and avoid speculation. #TV101 🙂

  10. And now we come to the part of the show I like to call casting suggestions!

    I vote Daniela Ruah (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2079733/).

  11. Based on that description, I do not have high hopes for this series. Then again I’m not a WW fan so I’m not excited either way for a WW tv series. I would like more DC comics shows (Now that Green Lantern and Young Justice went on a long break), just to break up the monotony of regular tv. And also, since Arrow finally came about from the long talked about Green Arrow tv show, can we finally get that Aquaman show that was cut (I’ll even accept that rediculous title “Mercy Reef”)?

    • I thought there was talk of a Deadman show at one point….?

      Personally, I’d like Hawk and Dove or The Creeper. Or a Teen Titans with the Wolfman/Perez team. They had plenty of drama!

    • Deadman would be awesome! Teen Titans is getting another go with “Teen Titans Go!” on Cartoon Network. Creeper would be cool too, if they can just tweak the costume so he doesn’t look like a reject from “Magic Mike”.

  12. Wonder Woman by Allan Heinberg and on the network that gave us Smallville & Arrow? I’m there!