If there are two things we can say with certainty these days, it’s that movies about Wonder Woman do good business and that a lot of weird shit goes down in comic books (where girls can get the powers of squirrels and sometimes Captain America is a Nazi). So it makes sense that fast on the heels of Wonder Woman’s box office success would come a film about the kinky and subversive creation of the character. And what a creation story it is.
Debuting in 1941, Wonder Woman was created by psychologist Dr. William Marston, who also invented the polygraph (it’s no wonder Diana carries a lasso of truth!). He was heavily influenced by his wife Elizabeth, a lawyer, and their lover Olive Byrne, a former student of Marston’s. The three of them lived together, raised a family, and explored their sexuality (including bondage). The feminist ideals and progressive sexual politics baked into Wonder Woman from the start can be tied directly to the two women in Marston’s unconventional and largely secretive life.
Based on this first trailer for Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, it looks like the film will tackle the threesome’s relationship dynamics as well as the public reception of the Wonder Woman comics at the time. It’s written and directed by Angela Robinson, who has helmed episodes of The L Word and True Blood as well as films like Herbie Fully Loaded and D.E.B.S.. Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) plays Marston, and you can see him getting grilled by a magnificently coiffed Connie Britton about the subversive messages in his comics. Rebecca Hall (Christine) plays his wife, and Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows) plays Olive. Take a look at the trailer below, and if you’d like to learn more about the creation of Wonder Woman, The Smithsonian did a wonderful write-up a couple of years ago.
The film will hit theaters October 27th.