As more recently published Young Adult (YA) fiction is being adapted, Disney has looked a few decades back to breathe new life into the 1963 novel A Wrinkle in Time. The juggernaut studio has put the film, and potential franchise, into Ava DuVernay’s capable hands with Jennifer Lee (Frozen scribe and co-director) to pen the script.
Disney confirmed DuVernay would be at the helm back in February, but it wasn’t until more recently that casting announcements began to shake out. Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah have been confirmed for the roles of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, respectively, with Storm Reid (12 Years a Slave) as the main character Meg Murry.
Both DuVernay and Deadline have confirmed that Meg’s parents will be played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Jupiter Ascending) and Chris Pine (Star Trek). When the director announced Dr. Murry’s casting on Twitter, she referred to the character as not only Meg’s mom but also emphasized she is a “brilliant scientist.” Mbatha-Raw plays a microbiologist while Pine is a clandestine government physicist that goes missing, and is the reason that Meg, her brother, and friend go traveling through dimensions.
The story centers around teenager Meg Murry, the eldest of four children, as she, her youngest (semi-telepathic) brother, and her friend from school set off in search of her missing father, Alex Murry. She is told that thanks to a device known as the tesseract, he father was transported to another dimension and she is tasked with bringing him home. Could this be the biggest reach in Disney history where these kids travel to dimensions that include gods who wield hammers, or worse? Not likely, but don’t rule out a few references here and there.
A Wrinkle in Time is the first in a series of five books that author Madeleine L’Engle refers to as The Time Quintet. The fantasy novels explores several worlds and a plethora of new and different creatures, including the mysterious trio of supernatural Mrs. W’s. Surely Disney is planning their long game, but let’s hope this first film is released before they announce four sequels (like Fantastic Beasts). This update isn’t the first film adaptation of the novel, but Disney’s 2003 version didn’t make much of an impression on critics or viewers.
A Wrinkle in Time is expected to start filming in Los Angeles before the end of 2016. There is no release date as of yet.