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« The Furniture: Designing Dignity in "How Green Was My Valley" | Main | NewFest: "Don't Call Me Son", "Esteros", and "Paris 05:59" »
Monday
Oct242016

A Wrinkle In Time's Casting Is A+

Manuel here catching us up with some casting news about an upcoming Disney tentpole film we should all be getting more and more excited about. Earlier this year it was announced that Ava DuVernay would direct the big screen adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. That the beloved children's book would be a Disney film surprised no one but DuVernay's involvement piqued our interests...

And as more and more casting announcements have been made, we cannot stress enough how exciting the film sounds. For her lead, Meg Murry, she cast Storm Reid, a young girl whose first acting credit was on Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. The choice was made after DuVernay and her time actively sought mixed-race and biracial children, a note that best exemplifies the way the outspoken director is looking to make her own mark on the material. It also explains the choice of casting for Murry's parents (Chris Pine and Gugu Mbatha-Raw!).

The Pine and Mbatha-Raw announcements came after DuVernay had already revealed that Oprah, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon would be playing Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who, respectively, three of the magical beings that help Meg along her journey to find her father. That's quite the cast, isn't it? Enough star power to appease the Disney suits yet enough off-kilter choices that prove DuVernay's project might be something very very special.

 

 

The film, which was written by Jennifer Lee (of Frozen fame), is still in pre-production, with DuVernay sharing more and more tidbits on Twitter about #TeamWrinkle, but here at TFE cannot wait until it's in front of our eyeballs. Any Wrinkle fans care to weigh in on these casting choices?

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Reader Comments (8)

If Chris Pine is in, I'm in.

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I'm not totally satisfied. What about Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon screams "cosmic beings of infinite wisdom" to DuVernay? They feel like compromises to me.

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

They're not supposed to be sage, Athena-like characters. Look at their character names!

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAustin

Yes. I've read the books. But the roles call for depth beyond the flustered, goofy image that the characters project. Reese, sure, though she's certainly not the first actress I'd have turned to. Mindy is unproven.

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Not to nit, but in the book Meg's mom is supposed to have flaming red hair and creamy skin. I've got no problem with making Meg mixed-race but I feel like it would have made more sense to make her dad black and her mom white. Someone like Jeffrey Wright would have been PERFECT for that part. And maybe Jessica Chastain as the mum. Yes, yes, I realize I'm being overly literal-minded, but it happens when it's a book you were obsessed with as a child.

Nothing about Chris Pine screams "tired, slightly nerdy scientist" to me. But I like him generally, so I'll reserve judgment.

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

@lylee Pine's got a BA in English from Berkeley, so he can probably do the "flipping through books" thing pretty convincingly:)

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGena

Until seeing Ava DuVernay's tweet, I had never heard of Willie Burton. He has 10 Oscar nominations, winning for BIRD (1998) and DREAMGIRLS (2006).

I don't know how frequently African-American crew members and other unseen contributors get nominated, because it's the kind of thing Hollywood ignores and Chris Rock completely and inexcusably failed to address as a host this year. I mean, The Weeknd was sitting right there. Does he not count because he isn't an actor?

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

It came as a blow that an actor my age is now playing the father role in a story I grew up on. Ouch! Please, Ava, give him some serious old age makeup!

Real talk: this casting looks fantastic. (Any guesses on Aunt Beast?) But the execution of the fantasy elements is vital to this story's success on screen -- all the majesty of Alfre Woodard couldn't save the previous cheesy, clunky adaptation.

October 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

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