Along with Batman and Superman, Wonder Woman is a pillar of what’s known among fans as the DC Trinity. At 75 years old, she’s one of the oldest and most enduring of all superheroes, but where her counterparts have been featured in numerous TV shows and movies, Diana of Themyscira hasn’t ever been as lucky. Up until this weekend’s Wonder Woman, she’s only appeared solo in one successful TV series, one failed TV movie, and one direct-to-video animated film. As a matter of fact, as Polygon’s Susana Polo noted, the first major theatrical release Wonder Woman was even in was 2014’s The Lego Movie.
It all goes to show how studios, thanks to a whole lot of laziness, have struggled to figure out what to do with Wonder Woman on-screen. These days, you can watch Diana be amazing on shows like Justice League and Young Justice. But there were so many missteps along the way.
‘Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince?’ went unaired for a reason
Take the unaired pilot for 1967’s Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince?. At the time, William Dozier, the executive producer and narrator for the ‘60s Batman series, commissioned a script for a Wonder Woman pilot. The end result was a show that had Diana (played by Ellie Wood Walker) defending the world, all while her mother complained about her being a spinster in the making. It’s goofy and more than a little cringe-worthy (presumably because the writers brought their style over from the Batman series), and it makes all the sense in the world why it didn’t air.
Fifty years later, Wonder Woman is a thousand steps up from Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince?. Diana’s funny and strong, and so is her mother. And at no point is anyone worried about picking up groceries. Keep that in mind if you head to the theater today.