Pedro Pascal Thought Starring in 2011 ‘Wonder Woman’ Pilot Would Change His Career, Then It Bombed

Maxwell Lord is Pedro Pascal's second and more successful attempt at breaking into the "Wonder Woman" universe.
Pedro Pascal in "Wonder Woman 1984"
Pedro Pascal in "Wonder Woman 1984"
© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Pedro Pascal gives a humungous scene-chewing performance as the villainous Maxwell Lord in “Wonder Woman 1984,” but it turns out the role is far from the first time the “Mandalorian” favorite has played around in the DC Comics universe. In the early days of his acting career, Pascal landed a supporting role on David E. Kelley’s much-buzzed about 2011 TV pilot for “Wonder Woman.” Pascal played Ed Indelicato, a police detective who was Diana Prince’s liaison to the LAPD. The cast included Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman, Tracie Thoms as Etta Candy, and Justin Bruening as Steve Trevor.

While the “Wonder Woman” series was perhaps the buzziest pilot going into production for the 2011-2012 TV season, NBC passed on the series. It was a shock to comic book fans at the time, but word later got out the pilot was a near disaster and the network made the right call but not picking it up to series. Pascal would find much better luck with “Wonder Woman” nine years later in Patty Jenkins’ sequel, but he reflected on his first go-around with the comic book franchise in a recent interview with Variety.

“It was like a dream come true,” Pascal said about landing a role in the NBC show. “David E. Kelley’s influence on television when I was freshly out of college was so huge, and I watched every episode of [Palicki’s series] ‘Friday Night Lights.’ 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.”

Given the global popularity of the “Wonder Woman” brand, Pascal can’t be faulted for assuming NBC would pick up the show whether it was good or bad. Unfortunately, the failed pilot did not prove to be the financial game changer or career boost Pascal needed at the time. Did Jenkins and the “Wonder Woman 1984” know about Pascal’s “Wonder Woman” past when casting him as Maxwell Lord? The actor said he doesn’t think so.

“It didn’t actually occur to me, which is kind of crazy,” Pascal said. “They must have either not have known or not cared. Yeah. I’m not sure, but it is sort of like an anecdotal thing that completely flew past them.”

“Wonder Woman 1984” is now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.

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