< Arrow: Anatoly Has...
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women dives deep into comic book history and tells the scandalous origin of Diana Prince. Coming in the wake of the DCEU’s Wonder Woman movie earlier this summer, when Screen Rant talked to the film’s stars we had to get their take.
There’s no real disputing Wonder Woman‘s crown as the winner of Summer 2017. It was the highest grossing movie at the domestic box office for the period (only beaten in 2017 by Beauty and the Beast so far) and brought in over $800 million worldwide, breaking a host of superhero-related box office records: biggest origin story, biggest non-Batman/Avengers movie. And it was only so successful because audiences really connected to the film’s embodiment of the character’s message of hope and truth.
Now, we get to see where that message comes from in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Directed by Angela Robinson, the film tells the story of the polyamorous relationship between William Marston (Luke Evans), Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) and Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote) and how it led to the creation of the most famous female superhero of all time. Marston was the inventor of the lie detector and psychology theory of power in submission, DISC, which together he funneled into the developed of a character designed to sell his feminist values: Wonder Woman.
While coming only four months after Wonder Woman will no doubt help Professor Marston in terms of box office and wider public awareness (Diana Prince has never been bigger), such deft timing was almost by accident. As Evans pointed out, the film had been in development for almost a decade: “We had no distribution, nothing when the film was finished. And when Angela wrote the story it was eight years ago, so there was no knowledge or information on it.” At that stage, Christian Bale was still Batman and The Avengers were a twinkle in Kevin Feige’s eye, which serves to highlight the more personal goals of the project.
Not that the importance of the shared release was lost on the actors when they realized. Professor Marston went into production in early 2016, around the same time as Jenkins’ film, meaning they were sure to be aware of the tentpole hit tangentially related to them. “I think we were all excited when we found out they were being made around the same time,” said Heathcote, although she echoed Evans in clarifying at that point there was no assurance of such a close release, “It was very serendipitous that they happened to come out in the same year, but I remember the feeling being one of excitement and hope.”
Of course, the fact that the film’s October release was set mere days after Wonder Woman hit was surely no coincidence, with distributor Sony seeing an opportunity to boost interest; had the DCEU film been a stinker or not quite connected, Professor Marston could have sat on the shelf.