A Wrinkle in Time Director Ava DuVernay and Storm Reid on set

The First Images from Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time Will Take You Into Different Worlds

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Entertainment Weekly shared exclusive first looks at the upcoming Disney movie A Wrinkle in Time today, and it looks like the beloved fantasy classic is every bit as magical and fantastical as you hoped.

The EW images show director Ava DuVernay with Storm Reid who plays Meg, the protagonist “who’s whisked on a cosmic adventure to find her missing scientist father (Chris Pine).” There’s also a glimpse of Levi Miller as Calvin and the “three chimerical celestial beings who help her “wrinkle” time and space: philosophizing Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), inquisitive Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and wizened Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).” Each of them has a distinctive look, and DuVernay talks about trying to capture a wide breadth of history and culture through these millions-year-old characters. It’ll be exciting to see three very different women play these timeless, magical beings.

The full interview at EW is definitely worth reading, but this excerpt from DuVernay about casting Reid struck me especially:

“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…All of those scenes struck my fancy, and then it was also something that [Disney VP of production] Tendo Nagenda said to me, which I’ll never forget. One of the things that really made me want to read it was when he said, ‘Ava, imagine what you would do with the worlds.’ Worlds! ‘Planets no one’s ever seen or heard of,’ he said. 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.”

While fantasy is a rich genre with endless potential, DuVernay’s comment absolutely ring true about our tendency to put white protagonists at the center—how often have we heard the “historical accuracy” card played in some medieval-esque world full of dragons? Even when characters don’t have to be white, it’s still often the default, so it’s nothing short of beautiful to see a director as talented as DuVernay (who is also the first African-American woman to command a $100 million film budget) tell a Disney fantasy epic centering around a young girl of color for other young girls to watch.

We also get a look at science dad Chris Pine doing science and also looking trapped. TMS reactions to this range from “Someone get him out of there!!” (Kaila) to “Why is Chris Pine on the set of ‘Hotline Bling’ (Jessica).

A Wrinkle in Time comes to theaters March 9, 2018. What do you think of the images so far?

(via Entertainment Weekly, images: ATSUSHI NISHIJIMA/DISNEY)
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