Welcome to Kenny-s Blog

A Wrinkle in Time: An Inside Look and Ultimate Character Guide

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Fans of A Wrinkle in Timehave been waiting a long time for a big-screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s novel – and now thanks to Disney, it’s almost here.

The epic adventure, hitting theaters March 8, is directed by Ava DuVernay and features an excellent cast, including Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and newcomer Storm Reid as the intrepid young Meg Murry, who sets out on a journey to find her father, Dr. Murry (Pine).

Along her little brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and friend Calvin (Levi Miller), Meg gets help from three mystical beings – Mrs. Which (Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Kaling) – who transport Meg and company through the universe by means of a tesseract – a fifth-dimensional phenomenon in which the fabric of time and space is “wrinkled.” Along the way, Meg finally discovers the courage and confidence within herself to rescue her family.

On a visit to the A Wrinkle in Time set, Fandango got an inside look at the making of the film and was able to participate in a lively chat with the film’s dedicated producer, Catherine Hand, who has a long history with bringing the timeless classic to the big screen.

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Hand told us, “It started in 1966, when Walt Disney died. I was sobbing. I loved all his movies. And I was so upset that he had died and could not make a A Wrinkle in Time movie, and star me as Meg. As a kid, the only movies I saw were Disney movies, so I naturally thought he was the only one to make movies for kids. When he died, I made a promise to myself to grow up and make it.”

The producer answered the one question fans have been asking for years and years: Why did it take so long? “I can tell you, Madeleine said it best: A Wrinkle in Time means different things to different people at different times in their life. I found that personally to be true. If you have a scientific lens, you love it for the science. If you have a religious lens, you love it for the spirituality. If you have a coming-of-age lens, that’s how you see it. If your whole way of looking at life is through politics, that’s how you see it.”

She further explained, “So the challenge was how to take all those things – and when you’re making a movie you have to have an emotional thread that you have to follow – so if you only take one thread, you’re going to upset a lot of people. How do we weave all of those threads into an enjoyable epic adventure? That is why it took so long.”

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Hand summed it up. “It has been an incredible passion, obviously. It has impacted my life in a thousand different ways. I’ve gone through so many different drafts and worked with so many different people. I cannot tell you how deeply grateful I am I met the team at Disney. The synchronicity that Madeleine L’Engle felt when we met, she felt when the book was first published, that I felt when I met [screenwriter] Jennifer Lee, and that we all felt with Ava [DuVernay]. This has been a long time coming, and that it’s being made at the right time with the right people.”

As for the diverse cast, Hand said DuVernay was immediately speaking L’Engle’s language. “One of the first things Ava said was that she wanted a diverse cast. I about fell off my chair because in all the years I worked with Madeleine, she said her most favorite line in the book, ‘Like and equal are not the same thing at all!’ ‘Making everyone alike is what equal means’ is totally not what equality means. [Madeleine] was always about tolerance of differences and raising them up to be equal.”

Here’s the who, which and what of the A Wrinkle in Time cast:

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Meg Murry (Storm Reid)

As played by Storm Reid, 13-year-old Meg is not at all comfortable in her own skin. Although adept at mathematics, Meg is also stubborn, awkward and defensive, and has a tough time fitting in at school with no friends – except for Calvin, a 14-year-old she has fallen for. Meg also loves her family, and when she sees a chance to rescue her father, she jumps at it.

Hand told us Reid was the first to be cast, and that she is Meg, hands down. The young actress has appeared in Disney’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and 12 Years a Slave. She will also appear in the upcoming film Killing Winston Jones, which is set to premiere in 2018.

Charles Wallace Murry (Deric McCabe)

Portrayed by Deric McCabe, Charles is Meg’s 5-year-old brother and a precocious genius in his own right. He rarely speaks but can read minds and talk telepathically with his family, and he is the one who introduces Meg to the Mrs. W’s to start their journey. Charles knows what’s in store for the trio, but doesn’t foresee his own peril when he is seduced by the dark IT.

McCabe has already appeared in Stephanie and will star in the upcoming film Hold On. Hand said they searched all across the globe for the perfect Charles Wallace, only to find McCabe right here in Southern California.

A Wrinkle in time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller)

Although Calvin, played by Levi Miller, is one of the most popular boys in school, he is drawn to Meg and her family. He also has strong feelings for Meg but also feels more himself with the Murrays, especially because he is neglected by his own family. When it comes time to go on their quest, Calvin is right by Meg’s side the whole way.

Hand told a great story about finding Levi Miller, who is best known for playing Peter Pan in the 2015 Pan. “We searched and searched for Calvin. It was hard to find this particular age. We can find boys that are 11 or 17, but 13 or 14 is hard. So I Googled “13-year-old red-head actor.” It’s not how you usually cast, of course, but I saw his picture and I came in and said, ‘This is Calvin!’ And the casting director was like, ‘Oh that’s Levi Miller, and he’s coming in.’”

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey)

As Mrs. Which, Oprah Winfrey takes charge as the leader of the three supernatural beings that assist Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace on their adventure. Often only appearing as shimmering light, Mrs. Which is the wisest of the group, offering sage advice to the children at the right moments.

“Who’s the wisest of them all?” Hand laughed. “Ava called and said, ‘What do you think of Oprah as Mrs. Which?’ There was silence and then, ‘Are you kidding me?’ But Oprah loves A Wrinkle in Time and is having a ball, and you can tell in her performance.”

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon)

Reese Witherspoon infuses a lot of humor in her portrayal of the eccentric Mrs. Whatsit, who is described as being the best at communicating with the kids on their level. She also turns into a centaur-like winged being on the planet Uriel.

After doing the heavier HBO series Big Little Lies, Witherspoon seems to be embracing her mystical self. Hand said the actress is just hilarious in the role as Mrs. Whatsit.

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling)

As played by Mindy Kaling, the bespectacled Mrs. Who only communicates through other people’s words, notably quoting William Shakespeare, Dante, Seneca, Horace, Cervantes, Delille, Euripides, the Bible and Goethin. As well, she speaks Latin, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese and Greek. Mrs. Whatsit explains that Mrs. Who finds it “difficult to verbalize” in her own words.

Hand glowed about Kaling, “Everything about her is international, otherworldly and full of culture.” The actress is also appearing in Ocean’s 8 later this year.

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine)

Chris Pine plays Dr. Alex Murry, Meg’s scientist father who was researching the tesseract and the bending of the space time continuum. He’s been missing for a while when the story begins, and Meg misses him terribly.

Hand commented on the actor, “He’s wonderful and such a passionate father. If you know the story, [Meg’s] father is this astrophysicist that is dealing with a whole different way of time travel. Bending time and space. He’s clearly cutting edge, not your typical scientist. Chris is in love with the role and you can really tell.” Pine is also starring in the upcoming Outlaw King, about the 14th century Scottish leader Robert The Bruce.

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

Dr. Kate Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw)

The lovely Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Meg’s mother, a microbiologist, who is also sad about her husband’s disappearance. Although Meg loves her mother very much, Kate’s physical attractiveness, academic and scientific accomplishments give the young teen a bit of an inferiority complex.

As for the actress, Hand said, “There is no more grace and dignity personified than Gugu – and that is who [Meg’s] mom is. She is who Meg hopes to grow up to be.” Mbatha-Raw just recently starred in the surprise Netflix release The Cloverfield Paradox and also the streaming service’s movie Irreplaceable You.

A Wrinkle in Time

©Walt Disney Studios.

The Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis)

As only Zach Galifianakis can play it, the Happy Medium is so aptly named for his optimism and jolly temperament. He lives in a cavern on Orion’s Belt and helps Meg and gang see the evil IT through the crystal ball and understand what they are fighting against.

Hand praised Galifianakis for his obvious humor but also how poignant he is as the Happy Medium. The funnyman’s FX series Baskets just started its third season.

Red (Michael Peña)

Michael Peña plays Red, who lives on the evil planet of Camazotz. As a puppet of IT, Red entices Charles Wallace to look into his glowing red eyes, and IT then possesses Charles, speaking with him telepathically. Meg and Calvin have to save Charles from IT’s clutches.

Known in the book as the Man with the Red Eyes, Hand said the character has been re-imagined for the film. Peña recently co-starred in the war drama 12 Strong and will reprise his role in the upcoming sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp.

A Wrinkle in Time comes to theaters March 9!

Have something to add? Share it in the comments.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *