Madeline L’Engle’s science fantasy novel “A Wrinkle in Time” was published in 1962, but those closest to the upcoming film adaptation say the story about a battle against a looming darkness is more relevant now than ever.
Oprah, one of the film’s stars, director Ava DuVernay and the author’s granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis all said the current political climate sheds new light on the decades-old children’s book.
Oprah Winfrey, at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles Monday, said, “This movie would’ve been appropriate in 1962 but couldn’t have gotten made, but it is even more appropriate now during this moment in time.”
Director Ava DuVernay, who is known for her twitter battles with President Trump, is at the helm of the highly anticipated film.
Oprah noted, “The fact that Ava DuVernay is the one that pulls it all together is not lost on the cosmos.”
The director, who recently spoke to a small group at the W hotel in Hollywood for the "What She Said" series, said making the film saved her in many ways from stewing and tweeting mean things to the president.
Instead she got to channel that into "designing a flower" or some otherworldly visual for the film.
"This is a happy movie in a dark time, which is particularly important for young kids, especially young regular girls. They need to know that they can be recognized for just being themselves, they don't have to be Jedis or superheroes," she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
She said she “hopes the film will be something cool for kids to see.”
The author’s granddaughter Voiklis is enthusiastic about seeing the book brought to life on the big screen today. She told Fox News the story relates well to the current climate in the U.S., in which many people find themselves on opposing sides of issues.
She said her grandmother intentionally left the darkness, called “The Black Thing,” that plagues the main characters of the book open to interpretation.
“[L’Engle] never defined the darkness, because that was different for everyone, but we all have the capacity to fight it. Part of that fight is resistance to polarized thinking and making assumptions about people.”
In the iconic story, protagonist Meg Murry travels to the planet Camazotz in search of her father. Storm Reid plays Meg in the upcoming film.
“Camazotz is a planet that has succumbed to darkness,” Voiklis explained. “It is one manifestation of evil: a conformist, bureaucratic, authoritarian state. Many people see it as an allegory for communism.
“My grandmother was very clear that it was not, that democracies also could become dark through a lust for security."
L’Engle’s book was turned down 26 times. The author, who died in 2007, said in the past she believed the female protagonist and radical take on evil was part of the reason it was a hard sell.
DuVernay can relate in her own way. The director said she’s struggled as a female director in a male-dominated industry.
"Every 10 years or so there is this surge of minority and women directors," she mused at the W hotel event.
With "A Wrinkle in Time," DuVernay has become the first African-American woman to direct a live-action film with a budget of more than $100 million.
Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and, Zach Galifianakis Bellamy Young all star in the film alongside Oprah.
“A Wrinkle in Time” hits theaters March 9.