When William Marston first created Wonder Woman in 1941 she was designed to be many things: a patriotic goddess always in the pursuit of the truth and an emblem of female power inspired by the politics of Margaret Sanger. She was, also, kinky as hell.
By now we know that Marston, a psychologist, had a thing for bondage and believed that submission and domination and were a part of human nature, which you can see in early Wonder Woman cartoons. But he also had an unconventional home-life by 1930s standards, one day bringing a graduate student Olivia Byrne home to his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and demanding that she join their marriage or it was over. According to Jill Lepore’s book The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Holloway was “devastated” but the three ultimately formed a polyamorous relationship, which each woman having Marston’s children.
Such is the basis for the new movie Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, which stars Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall and Becca Heathcote as William, Elizabeth, and Olivia. Watching the very serious trailer I smell “Oscars prestige drama,” but it’s sure to be an great companion piece to the biggest blockbuster of the summer and a glimpse at the two real-life women who helped inspire the iconic character.