Disney may have finally out-done itself with its upcoming original live-action version of the beloved young adult book “A Wrinkle in Time.” The film boasts impressive star power – including the incomparable Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which – and from everything we’ve seen so far (including a hugely viral teaser trailer for the film that dropped in July 2017), Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” remake will be amazing.
The first place to start in describing this film, of course, is will the all-star cast. But perhaps even the term “all-star” doesn’t do this cast justice. First of all, we have three amazing women as the three Mrs. W’s – Oprah Winfrey (Mrs. Which), Reese Witherspoon (Mrs. Whatsit) and Mindy Kaling (Mrs. Who). Combining all three of them together is going to be epic. Just imagine seeing all three of them on-screen at the same time. There’s a good reason why the trailer for the film caused a collective Internet freak-out – did you see the amazing sci-fi costume on Oprah Winfrey?
But those three women are just the cornerstone of the cast. There’s also the comic Zach Galifianakis as the Happy Medium and Chris Pine as the imprisoned Dr. Alex Murry. And, of course, there are the child actors and actresses, like Storm Reid, who plays Meg Murry. So not only are we getting a great live-action original movie from Disney, it’s going to be packed with some amazing acting talent!
It’s still more than 6 months away from the debut of this film in March 2018, but the social media buzz surrounding “A Wrinkle in Time” has been unlike the buzz for any other film, except maybe some of the “Star Wars” films. Case in point: when the teaser trailer for the film hit the Internet, it immediately shot to No. 1 on YouTube and stayed there for 48 hours. The big entertainment and media blogs described the collective “Internet freak-out” surrounding the film, including the unexpected appearance by Oprah Winfrey (now officially a “Disney legend”).
Already, critics are falling all over themselves in trying to describe this film. They have called it “breathtaking,” “spooky” and “charming.” It’s clear that Disney may be giving us a slightly darker science fiction fantasy than we ever thought was possible, and that’s going to be absolutely epic.
In fact, this could be a film on the level of a “Harry Potter” – filled with allusions to magic and scientific mysteries, plenty of evil villains, and a bunch of young children trying to figure it all out. Just as “Harry Potter” was originally a favorite book of children and young adults, so was “A Wrinkle in Time” when it debuted back in 1963.
Many of us, even if we didn’t realize it already, have a view of time travel that has been informed by Madeleine L’Engle’s hugely influential 1963 book. The idea is that the space-time universe can fold into different shapes, and all it takes is a small “wrinkle” to enable people to teleport around the universe.
The trailer for the film has some great action shots of Chris Pine trying to explain the basics of time travel, all set to a moody synth version of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” The basic plot premise of “A Wrinkle in Time” is that Chris Pine has been imprisoned by an evil force on an alien planet, and the only people who can save him are the children (led by Storm Reid, who plays the role of Meg Murry).
One important note about this film is that the director is Ava DuVernay, the African-American director who gave us “Selma” and the Netflix documentary “13th.” She will now be the first woman of color ever to direct a film with a production budget of more than $100 million.
It’s no wonder Oprah signed off on this film – it’s easy to see how having a woman of color as the director, as well as two women of color in lead roles (Oprah and the very funny Mindy Kaling) is going to be a big step forward for both women and people of color within the Hollywood community.
There’s a line from the teaser-trailer that’s absolutely essential for understanding the epic sweep of this upcoming film: “The only thing faster than light… is the darkness.” This is important on several different levels. First and foremost, it references the speed of light. Secondly, it reminds us that the universe is filled with “dark matter” and this darkness surrounds us everywhere. And, finally, it is a classic allusion of light and dark, good and evil.
It will really be a “race against time” to find the imprisoned astrophysicist Chris Pine. The children will travel back and forward in time, as well as visit different and strange worlds. It will be a science fiction delight, and it’s no wonder that the film is already drawing so much advance praise.
The good news is that Disney has already realized what a huge, mega-hit it might have on its hands next March, and is already taking steps to keep fans happy. The release of the teaser trailer at D23 was a big first step. Another step is the decision by Disney to create “Fanart Fridays,” where the movie studio releases artwork and visuals related to the film.
So, with just over six months to go until the release of “A Wrinkle in Time,” there are plenty of reasons to be excited. From the storyline to the cast to the gorgeous visuals, “A Wrinkle in Time” looks like it will be amazing.