In the sci fi subgenre of children’s time travel news, Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel “A Wrinkle in Time” is making its way to the big screen courtesy of Disney and one of their heaviest hitters of current film lore. Jennifer Lee, the first woman to co-direct an animated Disney feature — that would be 2013’s Frozen, if you want to build a snowman — is set to write the adaptation of the 1962 story, which has lived on in classrooms and the imaginations of kids who just want to casually jump around through space.
A Wrinkle in Time is in good hands as Lee also wrote Frozen and 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph. Now she has to craft an adaptation of the story, which follows teenager Meg Murray and her brother Charles Wallace, along with Meg’s friend and love interest Calvin O’Keefe as they search through space and time for the Murrays’ missing father. A brilliant scientist, Mr. Murray went mysteriously missing while working on finding out if the tesseract was real. He really should have just watched a Marvel film or two.
The three kids are aided by three eccentric women who guide them throughout the universe, bending its fabric to get them closer to rescuing poor Mr. Murray. Through their wild and fantastical travels, the kids and their companions learn that the earth is under attack from an evil force that wishes to coat the planet in darkness. It’s a magnificent story on par with the Chronicles of Narnia or any sci fi story that would still be suitable for the kids. There are centaur-beings of light and love, exploding star people, a disembodied brain, time travel controlled by teenagers and a heroine who’s an ordinary teenage girl. It’s the Stefan club of new Disney movies.
According to Variety, Lee apparently impressed Disney heads with her take on the material, going with a strongly female-driven narrative (Meg still gets her day) and “creative approaches” to the science fiction and other worldly elements of the novel. One thing to consider is that “A Wrinkle in Time” is the first of four novels in a series — L’Engle’s Time Quartet also includes “A Wind in the Door,” “Many Waters” and “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” — so if the first film is a success, we have another potential franchise on our hands. Interestingly, this isn’t dystopia, but a cross-time, cross-dimension, different planets type deal.