Elizabeth Hurley joins “Wonder Woman” pilot as the villain with lesbian undertones


British actress, model and all-around hottie Elizabeth Hurley has joined the cast of the new high-profile Wonder Woman reboot. She will play the superhero’s arch nemesis and – wait for it – there’s a lesbian twist. Though how shocking can this twist be, really? Wonder Woman comes from an island of all Amazon women that they’ve named “Paradise Island.” You do the math.

According to E! Online, Hurley’s role as evil pharmaceutical company head Veronica Cale is described in the casting call as:

Female, open ethnicity, late 30s to early 40s. Beautiful, highly-educated, highly accomplished, she runs one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the country…but she’s afflicted with the serious deep-seated Wonder Woman envy. Whatever she is, or will be in life…she’ll never be her. And it causes her innards to rot. She loves men, but likes women. There might be an unstated chemistry between her and Wonder Woman, at least on her side.

Unstated chemistry? OK, they don’t have to state it but will we see it? I’ll admit, the mention of a lesbian twist to the new Wonder Woman has gotten me a tad more excited about the project. Watching Hurley square off with newly cast Wonder Woman/Diana Prince Adrianne Palicki should be quite a sight. But I’ve been skeptical from the start that Ally McBeal scribe David E. Kelley could pull off a modern, feminist retelling of the iconic superhero. Initial reports on the pilot script have offered no further encouragement.

But the casting of Friday Night Lights alum Palicki has been widely cheered. It was also just announced that Tracie Thoms will play Etta, Wonder Woman’s “always cheerful personal assistant.” The TV, film and theater veteran famously previously played one half of the lesbian couple in Rent. And the addition of Hurley, who certainly will make a vampy, campy villain, adds to the already impressive cast.

Now, whether this unstated lesbian chemistry will be explored or exploited is another question. I have no problem with shows with underlying lesbian subtext. Some characters just spark. But the idea of an omnisexual villain leering at Wonder Woman at every turn is a bit of a turn off. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it sounds hot. But I’m not entirely sure it’s the kind of good LGBT visibility we need on television. And considering the pilot script actually has Wonder Woman utter the line, “Big t-ts save lives!” I’m not hopeful that a subtle, textured relationship can form between these two. I hope they prove me wrong, I really do. But, I’m also a realist.

Though, if the writers are looking for any good story ideas, might I suggest they send the two women back to Paradise Island like in the original comic to take part in some traditional Amazonian games. I mean, if they want to be authentic – or something.

Hurley, for her part, seems up for the task. She sent out a tweet confirming the role and expressing her excitement. Reports, though, have said there are still a few visa issues to sort out before the role is cemented. If finalized, her character will be developing a drug that makes people stronger in hopes of building an army to take down Wonder Woman. A whole army just to get Wonder Woman? Wouldn’t it be easier just to ask her out to dinner and a movie like a normal person, honey?

So, what do you think of this latest development? Excited about the potential lesbian undertones? Worried? Both?

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