OMG, I Can’t Even With How Excited I Am For Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
I didn’t exactly hide my feelings when, in reviewing the commemorative re-release of the 2009 Wonder Woman animated film, I expressed disappointment that the featurettes included on the Blu-ray seemed to erase a large part of creator William Moulton Marston’s (and so, in turn, Wonder Woman’s) history by erasing the nature of his relationship to the two most important women in his life. Thankfully, there’s a biopic on the way looking to bring that story to the masses.
Annapurna Pictures will be releasing a film called Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, which tells the story not only of Wonder Woman’s creation, but of the love between three people—Marston, his wife Elizabeth, and their lover, Olive Byrne—that made her possible. Here’s the official synopsis:
“Professor Marston & The Wonder Women is the story behind the creator of Wonder Woman and his unusual relationships that inspired the iconic super heroine. In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this is the true story of 1940s Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston, the inventor of the lie detector and creator of the iconic Wonder Woman, who defends his feminist superhero against charges of ‘sexual perversity’ while at the same time maintaining a secret that could have destroyed him. Unknown to others, Marston’s inspiration for Wonder Woman was his wife Elizabeth Marston and their lover Olive Byrne, two empowered women in the field of psychology who defied convention, building a secret life together with Marston that rivaled the greatest of superhero disguises.”
Annapurna also released a teaser yesterday, which you can watch here:
The film, which doesn’t yet have a release date, stars Luke Evans as Marston, and that’s Connie Britton you hear questioning him in the teaser. As for the leading ladies, Elizabeth will be played by Rebecca Hall and Olive will be played by Bella Heathcote.
Even better, the film has been written and directed by a queer woman: Angela Robinson, who directed the lesbian action-comedy classic D.E.B.S., and who’s since been a writer/director on TV shows like The L Word, Hung, True Blood, and How to Get Away With Murder. This gives me so much hope about Professor Marston, as too often the relationship between him, Elizabeth, and Olive is discussed (when at all) as unequal. As if it were somehow a mark on his feminism, and he was making these two women “suffer.”
Based on the description and on Robinson’s track record, my hope is that the strength of these women will be the highlight of the film, and real attention will be given to the fact that they didn’t just exist as Marston’s “harem,” but were also in a relationship with each other, and remained together after his death.
Also, can we talk about the brilliance of the above poster for a second? With Marston between his two loves, but the “lasso of truth” linking Elizabeth and Olive (and alluding to the bondage it is rumored Marston, or all three of them may have been into)? Let’s just say I’ve found new desktop wallpaper, and I am here for this movie.
Wonder Woman is all about love, as we were reminded in the film that was just released. It makes sense, then, that she couldn’t have come from the love of only one creator. It took the love of three people to make Diana of Themyscira possible.
(via /Film, image: Annapurna Pictures)
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