Angela Robinson, the filmmaker behind 2017’s Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, which told the true story behind the creation of the Wonder Woman comic character, is staying in the comic book realm for her next project. Robinson is teaming up with J.J. Abrams to executive produce Madame X, a new HBO Max series that is based on the DC Comics character of the same name.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, J.J. Abrams and his wife/business partner Katie McGrath personally recruited Robinson into the fold at Warner Bros. TV specifically so she could lead the charge on developing this Madame X series. Abrams and Robinson became friends through the Time’s Up organization, where McGrath serves as the governing board of directors’ co-secretary.
Who is Madame X?
Madame X (not to be confused with Marvel’s Madame Web) is a DC character who first appeared in the comics in the late 1970s. Her comics backstory is fairly convoluted, but the gist of it is that she has been on Earth for a long time: she’s a sorceress who was related to Morgana and the Lady of the Lake, from the Arthurian legends. She had a romantic relationship with Merlin that went south, and he ended up stripping her of her magic. Her wiki page says that she wandered the globe serving as an advisor to several high-profile figures throughout history, including the warlord Kublai Khan at Xanadu, leading to her getting the name “Madame Xanadu,” or Madame X. She once beat Death in a card game, which granted her immortality, and in the modern era, she works as a tarot card-reading psychic and fortune-teller. Jeryl Prescott previously played Madame X on Swamp Thing.
THR says the Madame X character is part of the Justice League Dark universe and describes her as “a sorceress who has helped the Suicide Squad and serves as Spectre’s spiritual adviser and, in DC’s The New 52, assists the Dark League and was revealed to be the mother of villain Doctor Destiny.” Abrams, whose Bad Robot Productions has a $250 million deal with WarnerMedia, is already involved with building out Justice League Dark universe on HBO Max, including a Justice League Dark show, a Constantine series, and potentially even movies as well. Zatanna, another magic-centric character involved with that team in the pages of DC Comics, is getting her own movie written by Oscar winner and Promising Young Woman writer Emerald Fennell.
This sounds like it could be a cool project for Robinson, who has been on my radar since she her 2004 “schoolgirl secret agent” movie, D.E.B.S. Since then, she’s directed Herbie Fully Loaded, and episodes of The L Word, Charlie’s Angels, and True Blood.
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