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For writer-director Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.), Professor Marston and the Wonder Women isn’t just about the man who invented Wonder Woman. It’s about the unconventional relationship between psychologist William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), who created the feminist comic-book icon under the nom de plume Charles Moulton in the 1940s, his psychologist wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), and their mutual romantic partner Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote).
“It’s fundamentally a love story between the three of them,” Robinson tells EW. “It’s an exploration of their ideas [about feminism, bondage, and pacifism] and his relationship with Elizabeth and Olive, and their relationship with him, and then how all of that found its way into Wonder Woman.”
While Robinson is a lifelong Wonder Woman fan, this fact about the story she wanted to tell wasn’t immediately apparent to her when she first started working on the project almost eight years ago. At first, Robinson thought her movie would just be “about a guy who had a wife and a mistress and that they lived together,” she says. However, in the research process she read a source that said Elizabeth and Byrne continued living together 38 years after Marston died.
“That one sentence totally blew my mind, because I was like, ‘I’m looking at it all wrong. This is a story about the three of them. They were all in love together,’” she says. “That really opened up the story to me and it became really important for me to also tell it from the perspective of Elizabeth and Olive and Marston — all three of them — and to kind of tell it as a love story and to try and really ground it and be respectful and investigate what Martson was trying to do and how their lives inspired Wonder Woman.”
With her forthcoming film, Robinson hopes it gives Wonder Woman fans a new appreciation for the character’s creators and how their relationship informed the iconic superhero. “People have had all sorts of relationships since the beginning of time and they were really progressive, exciting, incredible people, who I think shared a deep love for each other. To me, they’re heroes in and of themselves,” she says. “I really think it’s time for their story to be told and for them to kind of get the respect and admiration that I think they deserve. It’s their core ideas and core values that really infused this superhero who we all, right now, love.”
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women hits theaters Oct. 27. You can watch the trailer above.