‘Wonder Woman 1984’: Pedro Pascal has a Secret History with the DC Superhero

Wonder Woman 1984 has finally released, in theaters and at home, after months of delays. While the reaction to the film has almost certainly been more polarized than Warner Bros. expected, most viewers have praised Pedro Pascal’s manic and sinister performance as the villain, Maxwell Lord.

Pascal is having a big moment to close out 2020, with celebrated turns in both the DC Comics sequel and The Mandalorian. He hasn’t always been at the top, however, and has worked hard over the years to build a career. Before his breakout role on Game of Thrones, Pascal appeared in numerous smaller TV roles, including one that brought him face-to-face with a familiar hero: Wonder Woman.

A failed pilot for Wonder Woman was shot in 2011

Pedro Pascal
Pedro Pascal has a longer history with Wonder Woman than most know. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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Pascal played a supporting role in the pilot for a Wonder Woman TV series in 2011. If you find yourself asking, “Wait, what Wonder Woman TV series?”, that’s because it was so notoriously bad that it never aired and was disposed of before it was even finished.

Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley wrote and produced the botched pilot, years before he moved on to much better material like Big Little Lies and The Undoing. It starred Adrianne Palicki as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Known for her role on Friday Night Lights, Palicki has had a bad run of failed comic book TV pilots. In addition to Wonder Woman, she also appeared in 2006’s Aquaman, a planned Smallville spin-off, and 2016 Most Wanted, an Agents of SHIELD spin-off starring her character, Mockingbird.

Pascal’s star was much more limited at the time the pilot was shot and his role reflected that. His character was Ed Indelicato, Wonder Woman’s contact in her city’s police department.

“It was like a dream come true,” Pascal told Variety about the pilot. “I also thought that whether it was good or not, it would definitely get picked up. So that would change my financial situation significantly, even if it was half a season before it got canceled. But it didn’t even get picked up. I went back to procedurals, you know, ‘CSI’ and such. Had a pretty bad year after that interest in terms of like very sporadic work.”

The 2011 pilot has found its way online

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The Wonder Woman pilot generated bad press and fan reactions before it was even finished filming. The first look at Palicki’s costume left a bad taste in almost everyone’s mouth, with many complaining that its shiny material made the suit look like cheap cosplay. While the final suit was updated with non-shiny pants ( which is a strange phrase to type out), the damage was done.

Later, after the series was scrapped, a bootleg copy of the unfinished episode made its way online for fans to seek out. After actually seeing it, most concluded that the costume was indicative of the show overall: it was pretty bad. Respected TV critic Alan Sepinwall called the pilot “embarrassing” after having previously derided the script and called Kelley a poor choice for the character.