In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.
In 2004, when Madeleine L’Engle was asked whether the recent film adaptation of her novel A Wrinkle in Time met expectations, she responded, “Oh yes. I expected it to be bad, and it is.” The movie, which was made for TV by Disney, was widely panned—it received a whopping 43 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But now, 10 years later, Disney is back at it. It was announced last week that the company would be remaking a film adaptation, the first big-screen attempt for L’Engle’s classic children’s science-fiction novel. Jennifer Lee—the writer and co-director behind Frozen, Disney’s biggest box-office success ever—is slated to pen a new screenplay, an effort that had been attempted four years ago by Jeff Stockwell (Bridge to Terabithia). While no director has yet been announced, Jim Whitaker and Catherine Hand will produce.
A Wrinkle in Time follows Meg Murry, a self-conscious, angsty 14-year-old, the child of two scientist parents and sister of a toddler and adolescent twins, who finds the very ground she stands on called into question when her father mysteriously vanishes. Soon, her elderly neighbors turn out to be immortal centaur-like beings (very Harry Potter) and her father turns out to be captive of the forces of pure evil (very Lord of the Rings). The adventure is an amalgam of fantasy tropes with a strong undergirding of thoughtful science. Travel through time and space is made possible by the “tesseract” (verb: “tesseracting”), the most direct route from this world to the next. Meg is joined on her quest to save her father by her five-year-old savant brother Charles Wallace and high school junior Calvin O’Keefe. A Wrinkle in Time is the first in L’Engle’s “Time Quintet,” and the only novel of the cycle to be adapted for the screen. After the failure of the 2003 film, we’ve got a few casting suggestions for Lee to keep in mind as she writes the characters into script.
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