Selma filmmaker Ava DuVernay is getting back behind cameras this week on her narrative follow-up to the moving Martin Luther King Jr. drama. While DuVernay snuck in a must-see documentary on the institutional racism of this country’s incarceration called 13th last month (watch it on Netflix now), she’s currently moving on to a big budget fantasy film for Disney: A Wrinkle in Time. Indeed, DuVernay’s adaptation of the beloved Madeleine L’Engle novel starts production on November 2nd, and Disney has now confirmed the entire ensemble cast.
Leading the charge in an inspired bit of casting is newcomer Storm Reed as Meg Murry, but DuVernay’s ensemble is also filled out by plenty of familiar faces:
- Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which
- Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit
- Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who
- Chris Pine as Mr. Murry
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Mrs. Murry
- Zach Galifianakis as The Happy Medium
- André Holland as Principal Jenkins
- Levi Miller as Calvin
- Deric McCabe as Charles Wallace
- And Bellamy Young, Rowan Blanchard, and Will McCormack in unspecified roles.
The film is described as a “reimaginging” of L’Engle’s novel that follows Meg Murry, her brilliant brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin on an unexpected journey into alternate dimensions on a mission to bring home their father. DuVernay, who flirted with some other big projects as her follow-up to Selma including Marvel’s Black Panther and the original sci-fi Intelligent Life, had this to say about the project:
“Since Day One, this experience has shimmered with the promise and possibility, the passion and power that only great stories offer. And Madeline L’Engle’s book is a great story indeed. A cool, quirky tale of an imperfect girl on an otherworldly expedition that has been praised and banned, dissected and celebrated the world over for more than 50 years. On behalf of all the filmmakers, artists and craftspeople in our Wrinkle in Time family, we are genuinely thrilled by and truly grateful for the opportunity to make this film together.”
DuVernay is working from a screenplay by Frozen scribe and co-director Jennifer Lee, and while her collaboration with cinematographer Bradford Young resulted in stunning imagery in Selma and Middle of Nowhere, Young is currently busy getting ready to lens the Young Han Solo Star Wars spinoff. In his stead, DuVernay is teaming up with director of photography Tobias A. Schliessler, whose work on Dreamgirls and Lone Survivor is striking, and who is just coming off of shooting Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.@. DuVernay’s team also includes production designer Naomi Shohan (American Beauty), costume designer Paco Delgado (The Danish Girl), and visual effects supervisor Rich McBride (Gravity).
Production on A Wrinkle in Time will primarily take place in Los Angeles, with two weeks of filming scheduled for New Zealand to capture the fantastical worlds of the film. As a huge fan of DuVernay’s work, I can’t wait to see what she brings to the blockbuster fantasy genre. One thing’s for certain—her casting here is downright inspired.