A Wrinkle in Time was a popular, award-winning sci-fi novel by Madeleine L’Engle published in 1963, that has enthralled generations of children and young adults. It was a rare science fiction book at the time to feature a female protagonist, while also focusing on sometimes complex concepts as the space-time continuum and the Tesseract.
Aside from a Canadian TV production in 2003, there has never been a movie adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Disney purchased the rights to do so in 2010, cycling through at least two screenwriters, ultimately retaining Frozen writer/co-director Jennifer Lee. The director of Selma, Ava DuVernay, signed on to direct the live action film earlier this year – becoming the first woman of color to direct a live-action film with a budget of over $100 million. Now, the film is ready for production.
A Wrinkle in Time will formally begin production Tuesday in Los Angeles, Disney announced in a press release. The director talked about the project in the release:
“Since Day One, this experience has shimmered with the promise and possibility, the passion and power that only great stories offer… And Madeline L’Engle’s book is a great story indeed. A cool, quirky tale of an imperfect girl on an otherworldly expedition that has been praised and banned, dissected and celebrated the world over for more than 50 years. On behalf of all the filmmakers, artists and craftspeople in our ‘Wrinkle in Time’ family, we are genuinely thrilled by and truly grateful for the opportunity to make this film together.”
The film has assembled quite a cast, with young actress Storm Reid in the lead role as Meg Murry, with other major roles filled by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, Andre Holland and – as first announced Tuesday – Zach Galifianakis, who will play The Happy Medium.
Disney currently has a whole lot of projects in development that are based on well-known properties, from remakes of much of its animated stable to sequels to Malificent and The Jungle Book. But A Wrinkle in Time is particularly worth getting excited about. It’s a beloved novel that’s never made it to the big screen before despite over 50 years of popularity, and because the director is a major talent. Anyone who saw Selma knows that DuVernay has exceptional command of cinematic storytelling, and she’ll be aided by a strong cast and screenwriter Lee.
The one question is whether A Wrinkle in Time is one of those properties that’s just plain unfilmable, which may explain why it went unmade for five decades. Whether DuVernay can bring out the magic in this book, we will find out in two years.
A Wrinkle in Time does not have an official release date, but is expected to arrive in 2018.