As the iconic feminist character who made her comic book debut in 1941 continues to break 2017 box office records in the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman, there’s a new film on the horizon that tells the fascinating and complex origin story of how the greatest superhero of all time (our humble opinion) came to be. Her actual creator was not a god named Zeus, but rather a mere mortal – a scholar, professor, psychologist, inventor, lawyer, filmmaker – named William Moulton Marston who put pieces of the real wonder women he knew – “suffragists, feminists, and birth control advocates” – into the character he brought to life.
In theaters October 27, 2017, fans of the Amazon Warrior will see the real-life aspect of her story told on the big screen in “Professor Marston & The Wonder Women”. The film is based on “the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940’s.” Its synopsis notes, “While Marston’s feminist superhero was criticized by censors for her ‘sexual perversity’, he was keeping a secret that could have destroyed him.”
Her actual creator was not a god named Zeus, but rather a mere mortal named William Moulton Marston who put pieces of the real wonder women he knew into the beloved character he brought to life.
Marston’s muses for the Wonder Woman character were his wife Elizabeth Marston and their lover Olive Byrne, “two empowered women who defied convention: working with Marston on human behavior research — while building a hidden life with him that rivaled the greatest of superhero disguises.” Olive was the niece of women’s rights activist, sex educator, and nurse Margaret Sanger, who helped redefine sexuality and gave women reproductive options by devoting her life to legalizing birth control, a term she coined.
“Professor Marston & The Wonder Women” stars Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, and Connie Britton.
Between now and October 27th, for those of you who want to dive deep into the iconic character’s origin story and the layered life of William Moulton Marston, we highly recommend The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore.
Of her book, which is an incredible endeavor in uncovering the facts of Wonder Woman’s rich, seven decade-long history and connecting the complicated dots and people that factor into it, Lepore, a Harvard professor and New Yorker staff writer, told NPR in 2014, “I got fascinated by this story because I’m a political historian and it seemed to me there was a really important political story that had been missed that’s basically as invisible as Wonder Woman’s jet.”