2014 Wonder Woman Movie Fan Casting: Minka Kelly as Donna Troy
When I was a kid, I read Phoenix: The Untold Story, and found Jean Grey to be an important, tragic heroine who perished (perhaps needfully) in an epic conflict. Then I continued to read X-Men comics throughout the '80s, where they never shut up about her. Her boyfriend married a lookalike, and then Phoenix turned out to be an evil duplicate, and the real Jean was alive inside a cocoon, and then Scott abandoned his lookalike wife and their son, and then the lookalike turned out to be a clone who became possessed by evil magics, and then Jean and Scott finally married, and the clone kept dying and reviving, and Scott kept screwing around with other telepaths, and then Jean died some more.
Suffice to say, I now hate Jean Grey. She's an irrelevant joke. And Donna Troy is the Jean Grey of the DC Universe, so it's amazing that I still like her at all.
Donna Troy was created by accident when Teen Titans writer Bob Haney was given permission to use Wonder Girl, the time-traveling teenage version of Princess Diana, without understanding that premise. Unlike Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman was a narcissist who teamed up with versions of herself (including Wonder Tot) and sometimes her mother. The Titans needed a girl to break up the sausage factory, so a separate Wonder Girl came into being, "Donna Troy," to serve that basic function. She became more than token eye candy in the 1980s, but she was still kind of the generic nice girl with a totally gross boyfriend/husband who was outshone by Starfire and Raven on through to Pantha and Mirage. Every major attempt to upgrade Donna just made her story more convoluted and distasteful. Where there was much hullabaloo about former sidekicks like Wally West and Dick Grayson growing out of the shadow of their mentors, Donna managed to recede further into the darkness after being replaced as Wonder Girl by Cassie Sandsmark, not helped by the atrocious codename "Troia" and a series of boring-to-ugly costumes.
The first thing I did when trying to fan cast Troy was to look at people suggested to play Wonder Woman in fan circles, set aside all the strong contenders, and focus on the pretty, likable, middling options I didn't feel needed to be saved for better developed heroines. Minka Kelly would look amazing in spandex with leather boots, could probably pull off some light martial arts, can serve as a totally agreeable screen presence, and would not threaten to take the spotlight from the actual Wonder Woman.
Diabolic Movie Fan Casting