I am excited by the news that “A Wrinkle in Time” is being made into a feature length movie. I remember Disney’s earlier attempt, a made-for-TV movie. Although I thought the casting for it was decent, I felt that the effects could have been better and that the screen play dumbed down the story quite a bit. I think it is quite significant that the film in development is being directed by Ava DuVernay, a black woman. She is working with a stellar cast: Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, and Storm Reid. People of color are not usually asked to direct these kinds of projects, a multimillion dollar fantasy film based on a much beloved book.
When I was in the sixth grade I had to pick some books for summer reading and a “Wrinkle in Time” was one of many books on the list. I did not know anything about it at the time other than what was mentioned in the blurb for it and that the book won some kind of award. The novel was transformative to me. I tried my best to read it slowly because I wanted it to last. I have read it several more times as an adult. I was interested in science fiction when I first read the story, but this book went beyond that genre for me. It was about humanity, space, science and extra terrestrials, all revolving around the character of a young girl, Meg Murry, who is being asked to claim her center and believe in herself through a journey that would seriously challenge most adults.
I felt expanded after reading that book. I began to think that we, as human beings, are not fully aware of who and what we are. It is as if we picked up a book, started it, and then put it down before we were finished. There is more to the story. I credit “A Wrinkle in Time” with preparing me for the works of Carlos Castaneda, Jane Roberts and Mary-Margaret Moore (Bartholomew), later in my life.
Madeleine L'Engle, the author of a “Wrinkle in Time” was an outlier. Her story was rejected over 40 times by publishers before it was printed by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1963. It has not been out of print since. Other publishers passed on the young adult novel because they felt it was too complex for its audience. Also, being the early 60’s, young women were not protagonists in “science fiction” stories. The theme of good versus evil is not new, but the way the subject is handled in the book was new to me. The reader has to define the dark and the light. It isn’t done for you. There are no saviors in this story.
I find the timing for the film production interesting. It is coming at a time when we appear to be more curious about who we are. More people are opening up to ideas that would have gotten you put away years ago: parallel universes, worm holes in space, multi-dimensionality, creating your own reality, simultaneous time. I hope that the film is successful in not only bringing a new audience to this story, but that it has the power to become another classic film.
The movie is scheduled for release March 9, 2018. Here is a link to the movie trailer.