If it’s not the hottest female role for next fall, it’s certainly among the top five: NBC and Warner Bros. are currently on the lookout for an actress who’s popular, tough, gorgeous, and sympathetic enough to play the classic comic-book character in the network’s much-anticipated reboot. Easy peasy: One on every corner of Hollywood, right?
ABC didn’t make it any easier by locking up three twentysomething beauties for its redo of Charlie’s Angels — another project that demands leads that are both likable and strong enough to carry such an important franchise. It’s unclear whether David E. Kelley will go with an unknown to play the dual role of Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, though he’s definitely found success in the past with relative no-names. Calista Flockhart wasn’t exactly a household name when she landed Ally McBeal. In contrast, well-known gals like Teri Polo and KaDee Strickland weren’t enough to save Kelley’s 2007 dud The Wedding Bells.
One thing’s for sure: Kelley’s take on the superheroine could be a hoot to play. EW obtained a copy of his first draft from December, and, as promised, it not only features her signature golden lasso and pays homage (albeit oh-so-briefly) to Lynda Carter, but it should satiate those fans of Kelley’s memorable soapbox moments from Boston Legal and The Practice: At one point, Diana gives one helluva speech on Capitol Hill. And, Melinda Clarke, call your agent: The script features the juicy role of Diana’s nemesis that seems custom-written for a fortysomething hottie like Lady Heather herself.
EW polled a few great casting minds to find out who seems ripe for the picking — assuming they’d want to take on such a high-profile gig (one that, if not careful, could come with lots of ridicule). Every year, there are names of film stars that pop up for TV, but we’re going to guess that playing Wonder Woman on the small screen may not fly with gals like Amanda Peet, Zooey Deschanel, and Mandy Moore. And rule out Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kristen Bell: CBS and Showtime just scooped them up for pilots. From what we hear, the search is still wide open.
Here are some actresses that seem up to the task:
Jennifer Love Hewitt. The star of Ghost Whisperer was single-handedly responsible for the success of that Friday-night show on CBS, and she remains immensely popular (as evidenced by the impressive ratings for her appearance in Sunday’s Hallmark movie on CBS, The Lost Valentine).
Becki Newton. As James Hibberd just reported, the Ugly Betty alum is in play, now that Love Bites seems to be all but dead.
Taylor Schilling. She was just about the only good thing about NBC’s low-rated medical drama Mercy.
Katie Cassidy. She was the rare bright spot in CW’s low-rated Melrose Place. But would she want to tackle another reboot?
Kate Mara. Recognize her from 127 Hours, Entourage, and 24?
Malin Akerman. Yep, films are keeping her busy, but the costar from Watchmen has already demonstrated how excellent she looks in tights.
Keri Russell. Remember her swinging the nunchucks in Mission: Impossible III with Tom Cruise? She’d be good with a lasso, too.
Who are we missing?