Details the unconventional life of Dr. William Marston, the Harvard psychologist and inventor who helped invent the modern lie detector test and created Wonder Woman in 1941. Marston was in a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth, a psychologist and inventor in her own right, and Olive Byrne, a former student who became an academic. This relationship was key to the creation of Wonder Woman, as Elizabeth and Olive's feminist ideals were ingrained in the character from her creation. Marston died of skin cancer in 1947, but Elizabeth and Olive remained a couple and raised their and Marston's children together. The film is said to focus on how Marston dealt with the controversy surrounding Wonder Woman's creation.
Even after becoming one of the most top-ranking superheroes of all time, a vast majority of us aren’t really aware of the story about what influenced Wonder Woman’s arrival into the world. With the newly rebooted Wonder Woman (2017) film released earlier this year along with Justice League right around the corner, it would seem only fitting for someone to undertake a ‘true story’ telling of how she came to be.
Perhaps it’s not so easy to imagine exactly how a person might go from Harvard psychologist to comic book author, however through flashback moments taking place before and during a time of uproaring controversy over this heroine figure, every moment covered is extremely well-paced, set to deliver one wild ride of events. Without giving too much away, there are some inspiring truths to be uncovered as to what connects the dots with kinks like the costume, lasso, world of origin and much more. Even with much provocative material in the earliest comics such as the revealing outfit and excessive bondage, it’s astonishing to learn exactly how William Moulton Marston was motivated towards crafting these into the comic book world.
Director and writer Angela Robinson has taken many creative risks and a passionate leap of faith to bringing this film such a classic and colourful atmosphere all round. There are so many admirable qualities in her approach on the artistic origins of Wonder Woman which are presented in a surreal and moving interpretation.
I’ve found Luke Evans to be quite the adaptable sight for both heroic and villainous roles such as Bard in The Hobbit films and Gaston in Beauty and the Beast (2017). Here he swings away from that Hollywood spectrum of good/bad guy and into the more intellectual role of Professor Marston, doing so most superbly as ever.
As for the women behind the man behind the woman, Rebecca Hall has a good share of witty moments as the stern but loving Elizabeth Holloway Marston while the stunning Bella Heathcote is in to steal much of the show as third romantic partner Olive Byrne. These two working with Luke Evans to liven the heartfelt aspects of this relationship creates a most colourful chemistry among each three.
Not a story for children but a kinky, spectacular and emotional insight into the mature backstory of how this Amazon princess was brought into the ongoing generations of superhero phenomena.
DVD Releases: 21st February 2018
Duration: 108 minutes
Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Connie Britton
Director: Angela Robinson (Herbie Fully Loaded)
Often erroneously thought to the inventor of the polygraph, better known as the lie-detector, William Moulton Marston was actually the inventor of the systolic blood pressure cuff, an important component of the polygraph. This misconception is reinforced by the biographical picture "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women." The invention of the polygraph is more appropriately credited to John Augustus Larson.
A very close friend of the Marston family is Lynda Carter, the star of Wonder Woman (1975).
Marston was a psychologist related to the D.I.S.C. model of behavioural styles.
William Marston's granddaughter Christie Marston publicly stated that her family "completely rejects any claims made in the film and in no way support this work of fiction".
Though promoted as "the true story" of William Moulton Marston, Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne, most of this film is speculative as the Marstons' never accounted their intimate life. At the 2017 New York Comic Con, Angela Robinson was asked by Travis Langley, a friend of the Marston family, and said that she "talked to a source who said that that was her interpretation, who had studied them, chose to tell the story as my interpretation of the story, and I think that there's a lot of facts that are indisputable about the Marstons and I feel that there's a lot that's open to interpretation. So as a filmmaker, this was my interpretation of their story."
According to director Angela Robinson at the 2017 New York Comic Con, the producers tried to invite William Marston's granddaughter Christie Marston to a private screening of the film. Christie, however, publicly stated that they did not try a direct contact, just "via other parties".
Oliver Platt voiced Hades in Wonder Woman (2009) and was starred in the comic book film X-Men: First Class (2011).
The Marstons' life has been previously adapted into the 2014 play "Lasso of Truth", written by Carson Kreitzer. The characters of Olive Byrne, Elizabeth Marston and William Moulton Marston were credited as "Amazon", "Wife" and "Inventor" respectively. The play premiered at the Marin Theatre Company in San Francisco.