Ava DuVernay has what looks to be a smash hit on her hands telling the timeless tale of ‘A Wrinkle in Time‘ and went with the project for a reason that fits so well into the narrative of the story. She was given the option to not only direct this film but spearhead it in the direction that she would want and that spoke to her. This especially is true as Ava had passed on bringing Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ to the big screen as she wasn’t in agreement with what Marvel Studios wanted to do with the film.
However, just because they weren’t on the same page it is quite clear that Disney appreciated her vision and just not the direction for their next Marvel blockbuster.
This is how it all broke down:
DuVernay says a challenge issued by Tendo Nagenda, the Disney executive who put the script in her hands, kept nagging at her. “Ava, imagine the worlds you can create,” she recalls him saying. “And I said, ‘Worlds?’ He said, ‘There are planets, and you get to decide what they look like.’ I was just like, ‘I do?’” DuVernay gets a little emotional, recalling the feeling: “How many women hear that? How many people of color hear that?”
There is a lot to say on a blockbuster being created by women. Patty Jenkins had her style when making ‘Wonder Woman’ her own and now DuVernay is doing the same.
Producer Catherine Hand actually wrote a letter to Walt Disney prior to his death that she was too afraid to send to ask him to make this movie. It gave her hope at a time that despair could have ruined her childhood and wanted to bring this tale of Meg Murry in a female-led novel that challenged so much of what she had previously read.
Now, with DuVernay in the director’s chair, she is able to realize her vision of having a strong female lead that predates those who have popped up in the young adult market in the last decade.
In fact, when the call came in she didn’t initially take the job either:
“Women directors, we’re not getting people just saying, ‘Hey, let’s talk about this $100 million sci-fi epic.”
Thankfully, times are changing and DuVernay’s mind changed too after Tendo offered her that challenge. Being able to create the world in her own vision made casting front and central in her mind:
“I wasn’t just casting for actresses. I was casting for leaders—icons. Reese is the hottest producer in town. Oprah’s the most prolific, venerable legend of television and an artist and entrepreneur. And Mindy’s one of the few women running a show with her name, about her.
When I think about the three of them together as a unit of celestial beings, it feels right.”
Since the first trailer for ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ dropped, it can be hard to argue with that statement. The entire film does look good and these actors do quite literally look divine when on screen.
Are you eager to check out ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ when it is released? What are your thoughts on the reasons that DuVernay agreed to direct the film?