Written by Madeleine L'Engle, “A Wrinkle In Time” is an unusually beautiful science-fiction book that would most likely be categorized as “YA” if it were published today. It tells the story of the Murry kids, an unusual family of geniuses whose father has disappeared. When three mysterious women enter their lives, 14-year-old Meg, her 10-year-old twin brothers, and 5-year-old wunderkind Charles Wallace all end up stepping through a tesseract and into a stranger world than they could have ever imagined.
It is a dark story, and one of the things I find most striking about the book is the way it manages to embrace both the strong Christian faith that was very important to L'Engle as well as her fascination with quantum physics. That's not a common mixture of influences, and yet it feels like a natural fit in her work. Faith and science seem to be two halves of one thing, not at odds, and it's little wonder she approached almost 40 publishers before someone finally took a chance on her work.
Jennifer Lee, who I believe now holds the record as the director of the highest-grossing film ever made by a woman, is going to adapt “A Wrinkle In Time” for Disney, and while Variety's story points out that no director has been attached yet, it seems like it would be madness for Disney to not give Lee a chance to make the film herself. “Frozen” is one of the biggest hits they've ever had, and Lee is a self-described science-fiction nut. If this is one of her favorite books, and her pitch sold the studio on the idea of taking another shot at the script, then why wouldn't they give her a shot at making the film?
Although it was published in 1962, “A Wrinkle In Time” feels very much like something that would be published right now. Young female lead, a possible dystopia, standing up to figures of authority… in a lot of ways, L'Engle helped define the template that is still being used now.
Considering Lee's recent success, I can't think of a single reason why she shouldn't be the top choice for directing the film, and I can't help but think it's odd that they'd bring her on just as a writer at this point. Most of the time, when a director is coming off of a $1.3 billion hit, studios seem eager to sign them up to direct their next project, so why hedge your bets with Lee?
“Frozen” is currently still selling boatloads of copies on Blu-ray and DVD.