Disney’s upcoming big screen adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time has taken a huge step forward with the casting for the lead character, Meg Murry. 13-year-old actress Storm Reid will play the part in what is sure to be a career-defining film.
A Wrinkle in Time is based, of course, on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic 1963 fantasy novel of the same name. The acclaimed book has been a best-seller for years and won the Newbery Medal, Sequoyah Book Award, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.
High Caliber Talent Both in Front of and Behind the Camera
The new film adaptation will be directed by Ava DuVernay, who won acclaim for her Oscar-nominated 2014 film, Selma. DuVernay was the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe for her work.
Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed Disney’s smash animated film Frozen, is writing the script for A Wrinkle in Time.
Reid is an up-and-coming young actress, who appeared in 2013’s 12 Years a Slave and has several television guest appearances under her belt. A Wrinkle in Time will be her highest profile role to date.
In addition to Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling are all currently in negotiations to join the film. The trio would play the roles of the supernatural creatures Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Kaling), and Mrs. Witch (Winfrey).
Disney is attempting to modernize the film by using a multi-ethnic cast. Winfrey, Witherspoon, and Kaling obviously fit the bill of being multi-ethnic, and it is intended for the Murry family to be of mixed race. A non-white actor is also being sought for the supporting role of Meg’s classmate, Calvin O’Keefe.
The Tale of A Wrinkle in Time
The story of A Wrinkle in Time revolves around young Meg, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and Meg’s classmate Calvin, as they travel around throughout the cosmos in a search for Meg’s missing scientist father. He was working on a device called a tesseract before his disappearance, and with the help of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Witch, it is through the use of a tesseract that they are able to find him.
A Wrinkle in Time was followed by four more books that collectively comprise “The Time Quintet”: A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.
A Wrinkle in Time: Take Two?
Ironically, Disney was already involved in a previous adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time a little more than ten years ago. Multiple Canadian production companies teamed together to create a television miniseries version of A Wrinkle in Time, to be aired over two consecutive nights. Disney agreed to distribute the project in the United States.
Trailers for the miniseries appeared on Disney DVDs as early as 2001, but after multiple delays and missing its original February 2002 release, A Wrinkle in Time was cut down to 128 minutes and aired in one three-hour block (with advertisements) on ABC on May 10, 2004.
Author L’Engle said of the television film, “I have glimpsed it… I expected it to be bad, and it is.” Unfortunately, L’Engle passed away in 2007 and will therefore never have the chance to see Disney’s new version of her beloved tale. Hopefully it will live up to the enduring legacy of the original novel.