“A Wrinkle in Time”‘s Trailer Bodes Well for This Adaptation

Long considered by science fiction fans and the industry alike to be unfilmable, A Wrinkle in Time releases its first theatrical trailer.

Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which [Disney]

Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which [Disney]

A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel written by American writer Madeleine L’Engle, first published in 1963 and concluded in 1979. It is the first book in L’Engle’s Time Quintet, which follows the Murry and O’Keefe families.

Like many books of its era, it’s part science fantasy with underlying Christian themes whose range and scope challenged writers and directors who wanted to convert the novels into movies.  Apparently undaunted, a new trailer was released by Ava DuVernay at D23 Expo 2017, a Disney convention promoting Disney’s latest releases, its fans and its theme parks.

As much as I loved this book, I was stunned to discover it was shunned by many publishers when it was first presented, with at least two dozen turning it away. A Wrinkle in Time was my primary introduction to science fantasy featuring a young woman as the protagonist. A formative work, it colored my view of women in science fiction and for the first time made me question many of the previous works by famed male authors who sidelined women in their stories as unworthy of being protagonists.

In the series, the unpopular Meg, her friend Calvin O’keefe and her brother, Charles Wallace are thrust into the Universe seeking their father Dr. Murry (played by Chris Pine) from an unknown threat extinguishing the stars called the Darkness. We don’t know much about it, but at first glance its ideas of bringing order to the Universe don’t seem so bad. The series explores thematic duality and the need to maintain balance from extremes. By the end of the series, we realize too much order can be as damaging as too much chaos. 

The Human protagonists are supported by three angelic beings of unknown capacities, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) who become their guides in reaching across the Universe to find their father. They are, unfortunately rather tied up fighting the Darkness on numerous fronts, which leaves our heroine to find her way the best she can.

Director Ava DuVernay has chosen a diverse cast for this piece, introducing a young Storm Reid as Meg Murry, a choice which has made a wide swath of the movie-going audience very happy.

This short trailer is visually stunning with brilliantly flamboyant costumes and an all-star cast. It does everything a good trailer is supposed to do. It shows you a slice of what’s happening, teases you with wonderful visuals, and introduces you to the characters. Yet it manages to not reveal everything and intrigues you enough to want to understand what’s happening.

One of the most chilling scenes in the book has been presented in the trailer when the children are all bouncing a ball at the same time. If this scene adaptation is any indication, I am chilled and thrilled to see one of my favorite childhood novels in the hands of the very able Ms. DuVernay.

A Wrinkle in Time’s screenplay was written by Jennifer Lee starring, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Levi Miller, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, introducing Storm Reid as Meg Murry and Deric McCabe as Charles Wallace Murry.

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