Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time hits theaters on March 9th, and the cast and crew assembled in Los Angeles to discuss the new film. Directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Jennifer Lee, the screenwriter behind Frozen, Wrinkle In Time is adapted from a novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle.
As if that’s not good enough, it’s also got Oprah Winfrey playing a magical fairy! Originally, Winfrey was just going to travel to New Zealand to watch DuVernay work and film whatever project she was working on, but after she was offered a part, Winfrey accepted before even knowing anything about the movie.
“When you look up the word delight, there is my picture being in this film.”
When Lee first signed on to write the script, she would “daydream about Ava directing this.” Describing the book as “timeless,” Lee said the creative team wanted to keep the mature tone but reinterpret the ’60s era story for the modern world. Despite the dark subject content, DuVernay insists the project is perfect for children.
“This film is for young people and people who are young at heart,” the director said. “And for me, I had to ask myself do I still have a heart first of all, and is my inner child still in me? Can I tap into the 11 year old, the 12 year old, the 13 year old in me, find that light that I used to have, that dreamer. So I got to do that for two years, I got to really get in touch with all that I thought I would be when I was young and really tap into that.”
More than just a story for children, A Wrinkle In Time stars three child actors in the lead roles. Storm Reid, who plays the protagonist Meg Murry, said she isn’t nervous about the movie hitting the general public quite yet.
The relationship between Meg and her father, played by Chris Pine, serves as the emotional core of the movie. Meg, who deals with bullying as a result of her father’s disappearance, spends a part of the movie trying to find her father and fix her life. In order to step into Meg’s shoes, Reid thought about her own father and what would happen if he mysteriously disappeared.
“Thankfully I’m not getting bullied and my Dad isn’t missing and I’m not going through the things that Meg is going through.”
Pine, who said his character is so “hard he forgets about the most beautiful thing on the planet”, his family, compared working with the children to a metronome that keeps him sharp on set.
“Their BS meter is so sharp,” Pine said. “There was one moment where I said something you didn’t believe you just walked off camera,” he said talking to Reid.
When Reese Witherspoon’s agent told her DuVernay wanted to talk to her, the actress said she jumped at the opportunity to discuss working together. She said watching the director perform on set felt like attending a “masterclass in how to be a real filmmaker.”
“She doesn’t just make a movie, she makes an experience for everyone. She cares about what happens in front of the camera and she cares about what happens behind the camera. And everybody feels like they are important, special, honoured, valued for their contributions.”
Witherspoon said she had fun spending four hours in the make-up room with Mindy Kaling and Winfrey every day, but believes the real treat was working on an empowering project like A Wrinkle in Time.
“We get to talk about what would we impart to a young woman today, right now.”
Kaling, who plays Mrs. Who in A Wrinkle In Time, said she grew up loving science-fiction “but never felt love back.” With her background in sitcom acting, Kaling admitted to feeling somewhat out of place about first joining the project but said that DuVernay was incredibly supportive.
“To be part of this and be on a green-screen stage, in harnesses because you’re doing a science-fiction, fantasy movie, it’s so fun because I finally feel welcome with open arms to something that had ignored me completely.”
Even Zach Galifianakis, who’s known for his comedic roles, is emotional about being a part of Α Wrinkle in Time. The actor, who DuVernay jokes “demanded to wear a man-bun” in the movie, said he initially felt out of place in the cast due to his background in stand-up comedy. He called the director and everyone on set “very gracious” and thanked them for making it a wholesome experience. Even though he joked that “Josh Gad would have been better,” Galifianakis was slow with his words whenever he was sincere about the project.
“To be involved in a big, big movie like this… I feel really proud.”
DuVernay said Galifianakis “was the first person who said this was for boys too.” While the film’s central protagonist is a young girl, the film also speaks to the vulnerability of being a young man in the modern world.
“I want them to see that it’s okay to have a sensitive side,” Galifianakis said. “We need balance, it’s time for balance.”
Winfrey heaped praise onto DuVernay and said it “fills her heart” every time she thinks about the director leading the set. When it comes to comparing working together on A Wrinkle in Time and Selma, Winfrey was quick with a rational response.
“First of all you got Disney money. Where with Selma, near the end, were we gonna have enough money, how much do I have? You got the Disney machine, and that’s one of the reasons why this is so exciting, and Ava’s really at the helm of that.”
A Wrinkle In Time opens in theaters on March 9th.
10 Women Who Should Direct A ‘Star Wars’ Film
Everybody’s talking about Star Wars right now. Mostly good, but others not so good. Fandom is divided.
Another topic on everybody’s mind is Hollywood’s treatment of women and representation. Natalie Portman made a comment during the 75th Annual Golden Globes ceremony when introducing the Best Director category, pointing out the “all male nominees.” Some found this comment just right given the state of affairs at this year’s Golden Globes speaking out against unbalanced power dynamics between men and women in Hollywood in the wake of the sexual harassment scandals. Others found the comment rude. Whatever your opinions on the subject are it can’t be denied that you don’t see or hear about as many women directing movies, particularly big budget movies or highly sought-after Oscar bait films.
Star Wars is one of the most profitable franchises in the world. It is instantly recognizable and pretty much any Star Wars films are guaranteed to be a hit. Back in 2016, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy drew ire from some critics for saying the studio wanted to bring in a woman to direct Star Wars but wanted to make sure they had experience. However, Lucasfilm hired male directors with a range of experience to semi-seasoned (Phil Lord and Chris Miller) to barely any (Josh Trank) without hesitation and those investments haven’t really paid off. All nine Star Wars films have been directed by men and so will Episode IX and the next few spin-offs that we know about.
We’ve decided to highlight ten talented women directors that have more than enough experience, talent, and creative voice to helm a Star Wars movie, be it a saga film, Rian Johnson’s newly planned trilogy, or a spin-off film. Click Next to get started!