Drive Director Nicolas Winding Refn Reveals His Wonder Woman "Fetish"
09.17.11 by BJSprecher
Nicolas Refn's new movie, Drive, opened in theaters this weekend, but the Danish director simply can't stop talking about his passion project — directing a live-action adaptation of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. Refn first mentioned his desire to make a Wonder Woman movie back in April 2010, telling BBC that it would be his "$200 million extravaganza" and that he took the directing job on Drive to "start the ball rolling within the [Hollywood] system." Then, at the U.S. premiere of Drive, Refn once again mentioned Wonder Woman, even offering up Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks as his ideal Amazonian princess (Hendricks actually responded to Refn's casting idea yesterday, saying, "It is complete rumor, but it’s fun when people talk about it."). Refn recently spoke about the character yet again, admitting to Collider that he is "completely obsessed about Wonder Woman" and even going so far as to say he has a "fetish" for the superheroine.
I think my whole fetish and my interest in Wonder Woman came from three or four years ago. My daughter got obsessed with the Wonder Woman television show. The old, ’70s version. I would watch them back to back with her and really enjoyed them immensely. And I’ve always been fascinated by her as a character. I’m not a knowledgeable comic fanatic, as a lot of other people are. But I was very fascinated by a woman of power. And I couldn’t come [up] with any other great role models for my daughter to, say, "That’s a woman." Besides her mother. So I started getting wholly, completely obsessed about Wonder Woman and saying, "I’ve got to make her as a movie. I’ve got to make my take on it." And then I met a comic book writer who told me the origins about her, which was very fascinating and I began to see that myself and the creator of her probably had the same fetish of women. And then I knew that I had to make this film… if it ever gets made.
It's perhaps not more than a little coincidental that Refn used the word "fetish" when speaking about Wonder Woman. Created in the early 1940s by psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston, the inventor of one of the components in modern lie detector tests (magic lasso, anyone?), Wonder Woman was designed to be "tender, submissive, peaceloving" with "all the strength of a Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman." And, while we think of her now as a paragon of feminine righteousness and virtue, in the early days of her comic book life Wonder Woman was often the subject of stories featuring bondage and submission, practices that Moulton championed unabashedly.