Ava DuVernay Has A Very Good Reason For Wanting To Make A Wrinkle In Time

Photo: Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
As the first photos from next year's A Wrinkle in Time debut on Entertainment Weekly today, director Ava DuVernay spoke to the magazine about what the project meant to her. It's not just about the fact that she got to be the first woman of color to direct a movie with a budget over $100 million. It's about being able to put a Black girl in the center of Madeleine L'Engle's imaginative story, first published in 1963.
"The first image [I had in my head] was to place a brown girl in that role of Meg, a girl traveling to different planets and encountering beings and situations that I’d never seen a girl of color in,” said DuVernay, who admitted that she hadn't read the book until Disney approached her about it. "There aren’t any other Black women who have been invited to imagine what other planets in the universe might look and feel like. I was interested in that and in a heroine that looked like the girls I grew up with."
Advertisement
That girl turned out to be relative newcomer Storm Reid, 14, who made her film debut in 12 Years a Slave. She plays Meg Murry, traditionally thought of as a white girl up until now, whose physicist father (Chris Pine) goes missing. It's up to Meg to find him somewhere in the universe, with the help of three strange women. The Selma director also relished the chance to cast those Mrs. characters, she told EW.
"My whole process with this film was, what if?"she said. "With these women, I wondered, could we make them women of different ages, body types, races? Could we bring in culture, bring in history in their costumes? And in the women themselves, could we just reflect a fuller breadth of femininity?"
To that end, she cast Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who.
"I wanted a Black Mrs., a white Mrs., and a Mrs. that was not either, and Mindy was the first one that came to mind," DuVernay said. "I feel like we don’t talk about a lot of the other colors and cultures enough, and Mindy is so beautiful to me. Her character is one that, in her costumes and in working with Mindy, we wanted to bring in a remix of styles and cultures and customs from around the world. She was a real partner in that."
These sound like great representatives of our own Earth. Now we can't wait to see what all those other planets look like, too.
Advertisement

More from Movies

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.