Though it's not set to premiere until next spring, there is already growing buzz for the upcoming A Wrinkle In Time film adaptation — and with good reason. The film merges a beautiful classic sci-fi story with a modern spin, by placing Black excellence at the center of the story. But while so many are anticipating seeing the film to see themselves reflected on screen, the weight of those expectations can be heavy.
The film's director, Ava DuVernay, spoke about her feelings of letting the world see A Wrinkle In Time at the New Yorker Festival on Saturday. DuVernay, whose work on previous films have been critically acclaimed, spoke candidly about her nervousness about this film.
"I love it, but I don’t know how it’s going to be received. I feel something very deep in my gut when Oprah’s voice says, ‘There’s a darkness in the world and the only one who can stop it is…’ smash cut to a black girl," she says. "I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if people are going to feel that like I feel that.”
When the original text was first published in 1962, author Madeleine L’Engle centered the story on a white family. In DuVernay's adaptation, the lead character - a young girl named Meg Murry (Storm Reid) — is Black. The importance of that is not lost on DuVernay, who is vocal about ensuring equal representation on and off-screen, especially for the Black community. But working on A Wrinkle In Time has been new territory for the director, as sci-fi still lags behind in having female representation. She says, "[A Wrinkle In Time] is going to look differently immediately because it's usually been men creating these sci-fi fantasy worlds in film."
The weight of this responsibility has weighed on DuVernay, who admitted to being unsure about how to feel about the film.
"It is about a girl saving the world and that girl is a girl of color. She is hoping planets and climbing and saving the freaking world. She is saving the world from darkness...and in the film the darkness is within ourselves."
The film will also star Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pines, and Mindy Kaling. A Wrinkle in Time is expected to premiere March 9, 2018.
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