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New Movie Tells of the Man Who Created Wonder Woman


United Nations ceremony to name the character Wonder Woman, created by William Moulton Marston, as the Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Woman and Girls. (Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx )

A new film tells the life story of the man who created the Wonder Woman comic book character.

Angela Robinson directed Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. The public got its first look at the movie a few weeks ago at the Toronto International Film Festival.

William Moulton Marston was a professor at Harvard University in the early part of the 20th century. He was also in love with two women at the same time -- his wife Elizabeth and a student, Olive Byrne. She became his assistant and his lover.

The three lived together as a family.

Welsh actor Luke Evans plays Marston. He says he was surprised to find that the script was based on a true story.

“This man was a Harvard professor of psychology in the ‘20s, went on to invent the lie detector test, or the early forms of the polygraph, what became the polygraph, then fell in love with not just his wife but another woman who then shared their lives for the rest of his life. Had a wonderful family and then created ‘Wonder Woman.’ The same person did all of those things and it’s an extraordinary, extraordinary story -- one that most people have no knowledge or idea about. So it’s about time it was made.”

Australian actress Bella Heathcoate plays Olive Byrne.

“I mean, it’s great to tell the origin story about this character who’s a feminist icon, created by a feminist, based on these two women who he loved. And the message is all about empowerment and equality.”

Robinson, who has directed several television shows, including True Blood, The L Word and How to Get Away With Murder, says the movie is a love story.

“There’s this really amazing love story at the center of what ‘Wonder Woman’ eventually came to be. So it was really exciting to kind of bring that to the screen and see where ‘Wonder Woman’ kind of truly began.”

William Marston died of skin cancer in 1947, but Elizabeth and Olive stayed together and raised the children they had with Marston.


I’m Caty Weaver.

David Byrd reported this story for VOA. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the report for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor

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Words in This Story

character - n. a person who appears in a story, book, play, movie, or television show​

polygraph - n. a test that is done with a lie detector machine to see if someone is telling the truth​

feminist - n. a person who believes that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities​

icon - n. a widely known symbol​

amazing - adj. causing great surprise or wonder: causing amazement​

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