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16 Jul

Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” is the Ultimate Adaptation

by  | Wired

Book adaptation is fraught. There are longtime fans to please, imaginations to live up to, childhood memories to compete with. It’s nearly impossible to please all the people all the time. Director Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time is out to do just that—by making a movie that reflects all of them.

In casting Wrinkle, DuVernay brought together one of the most diverse casts ever to appear in a Disney movie. Its Meg Murray is played by Storm Reid (12 Years a Slave). Her father is played by Star Trek/Wonder Woman star Chris Pine; her mother is played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which are played by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey, respectively. It’s also got Ant-Man’s Michael Peña, Moonlight’s Andre Holland, and Zach Galifianakis. “I saw myself in it,” DuVernay told the crowd at the D23 Expo today before unveiling her film’s first teaser. “I thought if I could bring my ideas to the classic novel I thought we could do something new.” To do that she’s brought together “a cast that looks like the real world.”

And the cast isn’t the only way DuVernay is bringing Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 novel into the real world. Kaling, whose Mrs. Who only speaks in wise adages, says her character doesn’t just evoke old-school scholars, she also utilizes wise words from all cultures. “I think I quote Jay-Z in the film,” she said.

“Ava thinks in this macro way that is very, very special,” Pine told the D23 crowd, adding that she “hits things on a cosmic level.”

The magnitude of that cosmic vision is evident in the movie’s first teaser, which takes Meg from her Los Angeles school to Camazotz—the distant planet that Meg must travel to in order to find her missing father. And in each shot, the visuals are epic, from the Happy Medium’s (Galifianakis) domain to that creepy cul-de-sac where all the kids bounce their balls in unison and Bellamy Young asks Meg if she’s lost in a way that sounds neither friendly nor helpful.

L’Engle’s book, by its nature, left a lot to the imagination. It had to. In the half-century since its release, more than a few generations have read it and imagined themselves on its pages and in its world. That’s a lot of people’s hopes and expectations to get into one movie—but in Ava DuVernay’s vision, they’re all on the screen.

A Wrinkle in Time News

These images, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, of Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah as Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who.

Director Ava Duvernay said of the casting of the three women:

My whole process with this film was, what if? With these women, I wondered, could we make them women of different ages, body types, races? Could we bring in culture, bring in history in their costumes? And in the women themselves, could we just reflect a fuller breadth of femininity?

Entertainment Weekly also has a photo of the young lead, Storm Reid, along with Duvernay on set. “She’s got the sweetest, warmest heart, and all that I saw every day was just a further blossoming of the good that is Storm Reid,” Duvernay said of the young soon-to-be star. “She’s appropriately named. She’s a force.”

A Wrinkle in Time Movie Release Date

A Wrinkle in Time is scheduled for an April 6th, 2018 release date, so mark your calendars!

A Wrinkle in Time Cast

A Wrinkle in Time has found its Meg Murry! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Storm Reid, who made her feature film debut in 12 Years a Slave, will play the lead role in the film adapation of the beloved Madeline L’Engle book.

Reid is a relative newcomer to Hollywood, but has already built an impressive resume.  In addition to 12 Years a Slave, Reid has also booked some television roles and the lead role in American Girl: Lea to the Rescue. She also appeared in Sleight, a sci-fi drama that made waves at Sundance.

Reid is the latest addition to a majority non-white cast, with the production also reportedly looking for a non-white actor to play the major role of Calvin O’Keefe, Meg’s classmate and fellow adventurer.

A Wrinkle in Time has cast three talented actresses in major roles…

Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling have been cast as Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who, respectively. They will join Oprah Winfrey, who has been cast as Mrs. Which in the feature film. In the book, Which, Whatsit, and Who help Meg and Charles travel across the galaxy to find their missing father. The central roles of Meg and Charles have yet to be cast.

Deadline reports that Chris Pine has joined the cast as Mr. Murry. The Star Trek alum (who we’ll see as Steve Trevor in next summer’s Wonder Woman) plays the husband of Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Meg Murry and Charles Wallace’s mother, Dr. Murry, in the adaptation of the beloved Madeline L’Engle novel. Dr. Murry is a scientist who, along with her husband, comes with the notion of the wrinkle in time. When the book begins, she is anxious over the disappearance of her husband.

Mbatha, who most recently appeared in Free State of Jones, but previously held the recurring role of Martha’s sister on Doctor Who and gained critical praise in the lead role in Belle, will also voice Plumette in the much-anticipated live-action Beauty and the Beast movie coming out next year.

A Wrinkle in Time Movie Story

For those unfamiliar with the 1963 children’s book (if those people do, in fact, exist), A Wrinkle in Time tells the story of Meg Murry and her little brother Charles Wallace as they travel through space and cross dimensions to find their missing scientist father with the help of a mysterious Tesseract. Oh yeah, and there’s a kid named Calvin there, too. The book is the first in a larger series.

A Wrinkle in Time Movie Director

Disney secured Selma director Ava DuVernay to direct its upcoming movie adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, according to Deadline, back in February.

DuVernay is best known for her direction of Selma, the Oscar-winning film depicting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic civil rights march. The film drew both critical and viewer praise, and all on a relatively small budget of $20 million.

A Wrinkle in Time isn’t the only exciting project DuVernay has on the table. She’s also being courted by Amblin to direct Intelligent Life, a science fiction story about a U.N. worker trained to represent mankind in the event of an encounter with alien life. The script is from Jurassic World director/writer Colin Trevorrow. DuVernay is also currently working on original drama series Queen Sugar for the OWN network.

DuVernay’s involvement with the project is not only a win for A Wrinkle in Time fans waiting for a worthwhile adaptation, but a boon for behind-the-camera diversity in Hollywood — especially when it comes to relatively big bidget projects. A Wrinkle in Time will mark the first time in history a black female director will direct a film with a budget of $100 million. It’s about time.

A Wrinkle in Time Movie Writer

If DuVernay’s involvement weren’t enough to get you excited about this adaptation, there’s also the fact that A Wrinkle in Time‘s screenplay was penned by Jennifer Lee, aka the writer and co-director of Frozen. Could this be the A Wrinkle in Time adaptation we’ve all been waiting for?

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