If you watch a lot of movie trailers you may have noticed a new trend in film advertising, one that is quickly coming to rival the rise of sad covers of pop songs or Imagine Dragon soundtracks: The use of the phrase “visionary director” to hype a particular filmmaker’s involvement in a movie. Though the phrase has appeared occasionally in coming attractions throughout the years, it seems to have risen substantially in popularity in the last couple months. There were two “visionary” trailers in just the last week.
We’ve been on the edge of our seats waiting for another look at Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time since those photos of Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling in costume dropped earlier this week. You can’t just give us rhinestone-eyebrowed, glittery lip-glossed Oprah and expect us to not ask for more. Luckily the film’s first official trailer arrived today during Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim.
It’s a big day for independent directors making the jump to studio work and proudly bringing their blackness with them. We got a look at the latest photos of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther just this morning, and now Entertainment Weekly has also released a preview of Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of the children’s fantasy book A Wrinkle in Time. The Selma and 13th filmmaker has been hard at work in New Zealand, marshaling the largest studio budget ever entrusted to a woman of color ($100 million), and she’s got a whole lot to show for it. There’s magic, wonder, diverse representation and a whole bunch of other stuff, but mostly, there’s Oprah’s eyebrows.
Director Ava DuVernay is a stylish woman in a pretty general sense, but it was doubly impressive that she came so extremely correct to the Oscars last month. As Nick Kroll and John Mulaney noted in their monologue at the Independent Spirit Awards slightly beforehand, DuVernay had just gotten off of a globe-crossing flight so that she could return to Hollywood from New Zealand, where she‘s been hard at work shooting her adaptation of fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time. (And making history while she’s at it, as the first black female director to command a budget of $100 million.) It would appear that shooting on this grand undertaking has recently come to an end, with DuVernay now allowing the public a little glimpse at their production via Twitter.
Disney is not going to let us forget about Ava DuVernay’s upcoming A Wrinkle in Time adaptation anytime soon. As soon as casting was completed, DuVernay and her crew got straight to work on production, announcing today in a creative way that filming has officially begun, and exactly when we can expect to see the movie in theaters.
Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time might have just cast its first villain, in the form of none other than Ant-Man co-star Michael Pena. At this point, we should have learned by now not to be surprised by any more casting choices, as DuVernay first made the central family of the film mixed race instead of white, and cast Zach Galifianakis as a character who’s normally a woman. And now we have Michael Pena, who could appear in the film as one of the most sinister, creepy characters of the book.
With Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, we’ve learned to expect the unexpected. First, she made the decision to update the story, having a black protagonist and a mixed-race family at the center of the story. Now, she’s trying her hand at gender-swapping, casting Zach Galifianakis in the role of the usually female Happy Medium.
In a pretty inspired move, back when the idea for a Wrinkle in Time movie was still a whisper on the wind, director Ava DuVernay decided to give her adaptation the kind of multicultural cast that is unfortunately all but unheard of in a fantasy movie. The Murry family, whom Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle book series is based on, will be a mixed-race family in the film, with a white father and a black mother. They recently cast the protagonist, Meg, and now it’s been announced that her mother will be played by Beyond the Lights and Black Mirror star Gugu Mbatha-Raw.