Selma and The 13th are both career-defining films for Ava DuVernay. Though the director was close to helming Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, she still found a way to reach a very important milestone. As the director of A Wrinkle In Time, she is first African-American woman to direct a $100 million film. It’s a significant feat if you pay attention to who usually gets these high budget directing gigs.
Now with the D23 Expo just around the corner, we are getting a better look at what is to come with a bunch of new images from the film. Check them all out below.
The film will follow Meg (Storm Reid) who goes on an adventure through space and time to find her missing father Mr. Murry (Chris Pine). With the help of the enlightened Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), the young Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and the powerful and wise Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Meg will have to overcome the evil force that is hellbent on taking over the universe using her father’s knowledge of the space-time continuum.
While she took a pass on a big-budget Black Panther at Marvel Studios, there are two things that convinced DuVernay that this was the right project for her. In an interview with EW, she says:
“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.”
The second thing is what Disney VP of production Tendo Nagenda told her she would get to do plenty of world building. In fact, she was excited about imagining “what other planets in the universe might look and feel like.”
DuVernay says Storm’s name matches her personality, and that she is a “force.” She adds, “she’s got the sweetest, warmest heart, and all that I saw every day was just a further blossoming of the good that is Storm Reid.”
But Meg won’t be alone. Joining her will be her younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), who will help Meg unlock her inner warrior, and the three aforementioned celestial beings. DuVernay says she wanted a Mrs. who wasn’t white or black, and Kaling fit the criteria. Not only is Kaling smart and witty, but is also funny as well. Said DuVernay:
“I feel like we don’t talk about a lot of the other colors and cultures enough, and Mindy is so beautiful to me. Her character is one that, in her costumes and in working with Mindy, we wanted to bring in a remix of styles and cultures and customs from around the world.”
Kaling will be working alongside Witherspoon, an Academy Award winner, and the “Queen of all Media” aka Oprah Winfrey. For DuVernay, she was looking for an actress who could capture Mrs. Whatsits 60 million years young innocence. But not only does she capture that, she is also has a strong presence and is precise:
“You really need someone who’s proven and who’s done a bit of it all, and that’s Reese. It was so lucky that she was a fan of the book and wanted to come play with me.”
Finally, there’s Winfrey. She plays Mrs. Which, the eldest of the three celestial sisters. DuVernay said of casting Winfrey and her and Mrs. Which being kindred spirits:
“I mean, when you’re trying to cast the wisest woman in the world, what’s the question? You go and you call her and you’re glad that you have her number on speed dial.
[The character] is so much of what she teaches and shared through her shows over the years, through her magazine and OWN, about owning your light and conquering darkness and how we have to power ourselves through this life in a certain way and look out for each other.”
The director says Winfrey also gets lost in the character, and every film you see her in, you don’t see Winfrey, you see the character she is playing.
The film also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Pena, Zach Galifianakis, Levi Miller, and Andre Holland.
Be sure to check out EW for the full gallery of images.
A Wrinkle In Time is scheduled to open in theaters on March 9, 2018.