Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

September 1, 2017

New opening date announced, and more about poly biopic "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women"

That movie about the real-life polyamorous household that created Wonder Woman in the 1940s will be released two weeks earlier than announced: on October 13th, not the 27th. And it will be in AMC theaters in malls everywhere, not hidden little indie venues.

The lifelong triad relationship that was behind the scenes will not be incidental to the story but central to it, judging from the trailers. Such as this new one:

Six weeks and counting....

From comicbook.com: 'Professor Marston and the Wonder Women' Gets Character Posters and New Release Date (August 30, 2017).

...[News of the early release] came courtesy of Angela Robinson, who is directing the upcoming biopic. ...

The film will follow Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), and how his polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth [Holloway] (Rebecca Hall) and his mistress Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote) inspired him to create Wonder Woman. ...

● If you're arriving late here, this piece at Open Culture will get you up to speed: The Strange Story of Wonder Woman’s Creator William Moulton Marston: Polyamorous Feminist, Psychologist & Inventor of the Lie Detector (July 24).

By Josh Jones

...Wonder Woman, created in 1941, began her career as perhaps one of the kinkiest superheroes in mainstream comic books. What’s more, she was created by a psychologist William Moulton Marston, who first published under a pseudonym, due in part to his unconventional personal life. Marston, writes NPR, “had a wife — and a mistress. He fathered children with both of them, and they all secretly lived together in Rye, N.Y.”

The other woman in Marston’s polyamorous threesome, one of his former students, happened to be the niece of Margaret Sanger, and Marston just happened to be the creator of the lie detector. ... It’s unfair to judge a film by its trailer, but in the clips above we see much more of Marston’s dual romance than we do of the invention of his famous heroine.

Yet as political historian Jill Lepore tells it, the cultural history of Wonder Woman is as fascinating as her creator’s personal life, though it may be impossible to fully separate the two. A press release accompanying Wonder Woman’s [1942] debut explained that Marston aimed “to set up a standard among children and young people of strong, free, courageous womanhood; to combat the idea that women are inferior to men, and to inspire girls to self-confidence in athletics, occupations and professions monopolized by men.” It went on to express Marston’s view that “the only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity.”

...Marston would go further, saying, “Frankly, Wonder Woman is the psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.”

...The seemingly clear bondage references in all those ropes and chains also had clear political significance, Lepore explains. During the fight for suffrage, women would chain themselves to government buildings. In parades, suffragists "would march in chains — they imported that iconography from the abolitionist campaigns of the 19th century that women had been involved in... Chains became a really important symbol”....

Marston translated the feminist ideas of the suffrage movement, and of women like Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, his wife, lawyer Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and his mistress Olive Byrne, into a powerful, long-revered superhero. He also translated his own ideas of what Havelock Ellis called “the erotic rights of women.”...

● The film is set for daily early screenings September 12 through 15 at the Toronto International Film Festival (which runs September 7–17). From the actor who plays Marston:

● Director/screenwriter Angela Robinson dished a bit at ComicCon: Director Angela Robinson On Bondage And The Iconic Superhero (July 19).

...“I got interested after making my first feature with Jordana Brewster and she knew I was a crazy Wonder Woman fan, and she gave me this book on her,” said Robinson, who has worked on How To Get Away With Murder, True Blood, and The L Word. “There was a chapter about the Marstons and the story went on and on and lodged in my brain and I became obsessed with it.”

The story is not unlike any superhero origin story. In fact, it isn’t even necessarily a superhero story at all. It’s a love story between William, Elizabeth, and Olivia, but a character study of Marston, a man who was, in essence, a feminist with a very specific — and some may say controversial — slant. Robinson said that Marston had a theory about men, women and submission that runs through the veins of the film.

“Men were violent and anachronistic, while women were nurturing and caring,” she said. “[Marston] said that if women ruled the world it would be better — and he was on to something.”

● The movie's Facebook page.

● New 10-second promo:


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