Ava DuVernay took a break from working on “A Wrinkle in Time” to speak at the New Yorker Festival last night, where she opened up about her doubts that audiences will be as into her adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved science-fiction/fantasy novel as she is: “I love it, but I don’t know how it’s going to be received.”
“I feel something very deep in my gut when Oprah’s voice says, ‘There’s a darkness in the world and the only one who can stop it is…’ smash cut to a black girl,” she added. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if people are going to feel that like I feel that.” Storm Reid plays Meg Murry, the heroine in question, and is joined by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, and André Holland.
Part of DuVernay’s uncertainty arises from how different “A Wrinkle in Time” will be from most movies of its kind for the simple fact that its hero is a world-saving girl of color. “It’s not shied away from. It is front and center,” she said.
“She is hopping planets and flying and saving the freakin’ world. She’s saving the world. Saving the world from darkness, and in the film darkness is defined as the darkness within us. She’s saving us from ourselves. It’s deep.” The movie will be released by Disney next March.
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Perhaps because they weren’t as high-profile, DuVernay didn’t have these doubts on her last two films. “With ‘The 13th,’ I was, ‘You know what. I don’t care. This is what I want to put out. If people get it, they get it. If they don’t, I’m onto the next.'” said DuVernay. “With ‘Selma,’ I was like, ‘You know what, I’m nervous…but I know that I believe in this. I know that this is a record, and it needs to be there. Some other people are going to get this.’ This, I don’t know.” Read her full comments here.