Ava DuVernay may have turned down the chance to make Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ and/or ‘Captain Marvel,’ but that doesn’t mean the ‘Selma’ director isn’t open to sci-fi fantasy projects, as her latest movie confirms.
DuVernay is calling the shots on ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ an adaptation of a 1962 novel by Madeline L’Engle, which centres on teenage girl, played by Storm Reid, who embarks on a ‘cosmic adventure’ to rescue her missing father, a scientist, played by Chris Pine.
If that seems an ambitious undertaking for an ordinary teenager, it may help to know she has assistance from three celestial beings played by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kailing and Oprah Winfrey, who “help her ‘wrinkle’ time and space.”
Entertainment Weekly have just released the first images from the film, as well as getting some insight from DuVernay about what drew her to the Disney production, which will be the 44-year old filmmaker’s first family-oriented movie.
“I saw so much beauty in [the novel], but also so much meaning. [Madeline L’Engle]’s a very radical thinker and she embedded her sense of what society should and could be in this piece, and a lot of it I agree with. And through that, the story of this girl saving the world and being out there in the universe slaying the darkness, it also says a lot about slaying our own dragons.”
Being both female and black, DuVernay is well aware that few directors in her position have been allowed the opportunity to make a film of this nature, and it seems this was part of what drew her in. It was also why the director insisted on casting an actress of colour in the lead role of Meg, ultimately choosing Reid.
“One of the things that really made me want to read it was when [Disney vice president of production Tendo Nagenda] said, ‘Ava, imagine what you would do with the worlds.’ Worlds! ‘Planets no one’s ever seen or heard of,’ he said.
“There aren’t any other black women who have been invited to imagine what other planets in the universe might look and feel like. I was interested in that and in a heroine that looked like the girls I grew up with.”
The supporting cast includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Meg’s mother, Deric McCabe as her little brother Charles, with Michael Peña and Zach Galifianakis. The screenplay is from Jennifer Lee, writer and co-director of ‘Frozen.’
‘A Wrinkle in Time’ opens in UK cinemas on 21 March 2018.