In June, Wonder Woman debuted to critical acclaim and broke multiple box office records. Now, after traveling to Themyscira and back and through the trenches of World War I with Gal Gadot’s Lasso of Truth-wielding heroine, it’s time to meet the men and women responsible for creating her in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.
Written and directed by Angela Robinson, the 1940s-set film chronicles the lives of Professor William Marston (Luke Evans), who created Wonder Woman under the pseudonym Charles Moulton, and the two women who inspired her: his wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), and the couple’s romantic partner, Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). As the new trailer teases, Wonder Woman, among other things, is an amalgamation of William, Elizabeth, and Olive’s concerns with psychology, feminism, bondage, and pacifism.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, which hits theaters this fall, couldn’t be premiering at a more opportune moment since Wonder Woman is in the middle of her biggest upswing in years. But, according to Robinson, the timing of her film’s release was pretty unintentional.
“It’s weirdly an accident of history that they’re coming in the same year,” Robinson tells EW. “I’ve been trying to get the film together, like all indies movies, for a while. It came together a couple times and fell apart a couple times. Then, it just started gathering steam, but the actual stars aligning in the way for this type of timing just kind of happened.”
A lifelong Wonder Woman fan, Robinson started working on the movie’s script almost eight years ago. She became interested in Marston and Olive’s relationship after reading about it in a coffee table book given to Robinson as a gift by Jordana Brewster, who starred in Robinson’s D.E.B.S..
“It was just this fascinating story behind them,” she says. “They invented a lie detector and he kind of lived in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and one of his students, Olive Byrne, and they all had kids together and lived together for many, many years.”
While the movie is about Wonder Woman’s creation, it’s mainly concerned with exploring this unconventional relationship and William, Elizabeth, and Olive, who had to keep their relationship a secret at the time. And, the trailer, which opens and closes with Josette Frank (Connie Britton), one of Marston’s detractors, questioning him about the contents of the comic, frames their story as one of them against a world that might not understand them. “The world won’t let us,” says Elizabeth in the trailer, to which Marston replies, “The world can’t stop us.” Because of the need for secrecy, there’s this sense that the Wonder Woman comic became their means of exploring what they had to keep hidden.
“For me, not to get heady about it, the dialectic in the movie was between fantasy and reality, and that they really found freedom in their lives in this notion of fantasy, be it role play [or] the comics,” says Robinson.
Watch the trailer above.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women hits theaters Oct. 27.