Ava DuVernay did not mince words on the casting decision she made for her upcoming film, A Wrinkle in Time.
In Time magazine’s latest issue, DuVernay and the cast discuss the highly-anticipated film about a young girl who travels through time and space to save her father. In the lead role is Storm Reid, a young Black actress from Atlanta. Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon play the three Mrs.
When asked why she chose the critically-acclaimed actresses for their celestial roles in the film, DuVernay had the kindest of words.
“I wasn’t just casting for actresses,” DuVernay told Time. “I was casting for leaders—icons. Reese is the hottest producer in town. Oprah’s the most prolific, venerable legend of television and an artist and entrepreneur. And Mindy’s one of the few women running a show with her name, about her… When I think about the three of them together as a unit of celestial beings, it feels right.”
In March, the film based off Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 novel of the same name will debut. DuVernay was initially approached by Disney executive Tendo Nagenda —known for bringing diverse projects to the company— about the job.
“Ava, imagine the worlds you can create,” she recalls him saying. “And I said, ‘Worlds?’ He said, ‘There are planets, and you get to decide what they look like.’ I was just like, ‘I do?’” DuVernay gets a little emotional, recalling the feeling: “How many women hear that? How many people of color hear that?”
But being the first Black women director to take on a $100 million film wasn’t too much to handle.
“I’ve made films for $50,000,” DuVernay says. “So when people say, ‘How are you managing $100 million?’ It’s like, ‘Quite well.’”