Telling ‘Wonder Woman’ creator’s origin story
Writer-director Angela Robinson first came to the story of William Moulton Marston, Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne more than eight years ago as, in her words, “a straight-up Wonder Woman fan.”
This was well before the recent rush of books on the origins of the character and certainly without any idea that her project on the three of them would come out in the wake of the landmark success of a “Wonder Woman” movie.
Robinson’s “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women,” opening in theaters Friday, tells the story of how William Marston, a psychologist, came to create the character of Wonder Woman and the earliest incarnations of the comic — and also of the unconventional life he led with his wife, Elizabeth, and their mutual girlfriend, Olive.
The central trio of performers of Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote — playing William, Elizabeth and Olive, respectively — have an electric chemistry among them, giving the film a lively, unpredictable energy that is by turns romantic, sensual and defiant.
Robinson thought at first she was researching the story of a man, his wife and his mistress, but she soon discovered their dynamic was deeper than that.
Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne stayed together for 38 years after the death of William Marston in 1947.
“I quickly was like, ‘I can’t tell a movie about Wonder Woman without exploring the women,’ ” said Robinson. “And I feel like that’s what Marston was engaged in, too, his fascination that manifested in Wonder Woman.
“For me, it was always how did he get to Wonder Woman, and how he got there was through his relationship with these two women.”
Actress Bella Heathcote (from left), director Angela Robinson, actress Rebecca Hall and actor Luke Evans attend the “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” meet-and-greet at New York’s Forbidden Planet on Oct. 9 in New York City.