We’re about to get hit with a deluge of new movie stuff, with Disney’s biennial fan convention, D23, taking place this weekend, and then Comic-Con the weekend after. As a warm up, Entertainment Weekly has some first-look features in their Comic-Con issue, including Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time. There are just a few photos—I assume a trailer is on the way—but you can get a sense of DuVernay’s style, with bold colors and a tease of the magical beings that Meg Murry will encounter on her journey. The portrait of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which is great, and gives us an idea of how wild those three will look fully realized.
DuVernay teases that as well in her interview, saying, “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.” This is why I want to call it Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time, because it’s clear she isn’t just another cog in the studio franchise machine. She’s getting to put a personal stamp on this movie—she was invited to imagine worlds, and she has done so, with her unique vision and voice. That means casting Storm Reid—awesome name—as Meg, and going for the triad of Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, respectively. (This is INSPIRED casting, by the way.)
Of her trio of space-time witches, DuVernay says, “With these women, I wondered, could we make them women of different ages, body types, races? Could we bring in culture, bring in history in their costumes? And in the women themselves, could we just reflect a fuller breadth of femininity?” I can’t wait to see them in full in the (inevitable) trailer. Partly because they’re the coolest and most memorable aspect of Madeleine L’Engle’s novel, but also to see what affect DuVernay achieves—we don’t, for instance get to see their costumes in this first look.
And this is also the next big step for women directing blockbusters. Patty Jenkins broke down the superhero door, and now DuVernay is taking on the big-budget fantasy film. It would be a killer one-two punch, to have back-to-back successes from the first women entrusted with $100 million-plus budgets, given beloved characters and stories to interpret, and charged with establishing franchises. It would also serve as a rebuke of those saying Jenkins’ success with Wonder Woman is a fluke—they’re out there—as we would have another woman directing another big-budget tent pole to success.
The long-term lesson of Bridesmaids is that one successful movie won’t cut it, you have to build a repertoire of successful movies in order to prove a trend. Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time is the next proving ground. We have a few intriguing photos and DuVernay sounding confident as f*ck as our first taste of what this movie can be, which is, hopefully, another door broken down for women in film, and also a kickass fantasy adventure about a young girl saving the universe. It’s Ava DuVernay’s time.
Click here to see more photos from Entertainment Weekly.