Most iconic superheroes have epic origin stories to match. Whether it’s Peter Parker getting bitten by a radioactive spider, Bruce Wayne’s parents getting shot in a Gotham alley or Kal-El being the sole survivor of Krypton, most of these stories have become ingrained in pop-mythology. However, the creation of these heroes as characters can be just as interesting and one of the most interesting origins comes in the form of William Moulton Marston who created DC Comic’s Wonder Woman in 1941 and Deadline has now reported that this story will be coming to the big-screen as Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, the titular women in the title being Marston’s two wives Elizabeth Holloway and Olive Byrne. Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote are attached to star as Marston, Holloway and Byrne respectively with Angela Robinson writing and directing the project.
Marston not only invented the polygraph lie detector with his wife Elizabeth Holloway (and that’s where we find Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth) but Marston held extremely radical views for the early 20th century and that’s before we get into his polyamorous relationship with Holloway and former-student Olive Byrne. After extensive studying of all-female societies and groups in the 1920s he espoused that women were actually the superior gender and were it not for the fact that they had to carry children and had been resigned (at the time) to domesticated roles that they could easily take charge. And foreseeing all the modern technology that was making domestic chores easier and quicker to achieve, he believed that within a few generations women would soon become the dominant sex. Oh, and he was also a very passionate defender of comic books as a legitimate artform. Marston died of cancer in 1947 but Holloway and Byrne remained a couple until Byrne’s death in 1988.
It’s not often you find the story of a creator whose believes and ideals so perfectly inform their creations but the story of Professor Marston and his Wonder Women is fascinating enough without the comic-book trappings. The film will explore how Marston dealt with the controversy surrounding his creation while he and his partners navigated and concealed a romantic and family life that, if exposed, could have destroyed them all.
Professor Marston & The Wonder Women started filming this week. No release date has been set.
IMAGE: DC Comics