Black Panther is currently shattering records all over the place, and the response has proven just how important representation is. It isn’t the only movie that those looking for a little diversity in their casting should be watching out for. A Wrinkle in Time comes out next month and stars a young mixed-race girl as its main character and is being directed by a woman of color. Collider recently sat down with Reese Witherspoon, who plays one of the Mrs in the movie. The book is about a little girl who becomes a warrior to save the world, and considering what the kids of today are doing in America when it comes to being warriors and fighting against injustice, Witherspoon believes that is very important now more than ever.
I read the book as a little girl, and I really was excited when Ava explained her vision for the film. She was like, “I’m gonna deviate a lot. I want to have the house in Downtown L.A. I want the kids to be of all different ethnicities. I want kids to watch this movie and know that anything’s possible.” I get emotional, thinking how little kids going to the theater will actually see a character and an actor that looks like them. That will make them think it’s possible. And also, they’ll see women who are heroes, who are all different sizes and all different races. Women are the heroes of a lot of kids’ lives, and to see that properly represented is way overdue and exciting. I think it’s exciting to have a director with that kind of vision, and to have Disney’s belief in her, to give her an incredible amount of creative control and free reign to create this magic.
Witherspoon isn’t just a woman working on movies — she is one actively trying to tell more stories about women and to have women tell those stories. Her production company has been pushing for more female lead stories both in front of and behind the camera. Witherspoon talks about working with a woman like director Ava DuVernay on this project.
It’s my life’s work to try to get more women in film, and more female directors and writers. The thing I always say is that everybody has a story, just know your story and tell your story. Write what you know. Women are the largest captured consumer audience in the world. We are sitting there, on Amazon.com and Walmart.com and Snapchat. If you talk to any of these companies, the metrics always skew higher for women. They need great writers, they need great makers, they need women directing. You can only shift those things when you make great content. It’s so much about confidence, and Ava just comes in and is like, “Gimme the ball, I’ve got this!” It’s incredible to see her skill set. It just emanates off her. Her leadership qualities and her confidence is really important.
A Wrinkle in Time is the first time a black woman has directed a blockbuster with a $100 million dollar budget. With such a diverse cast both in front and behind the camera, this could be the second Disney movie this year to help kids see that they really can accomplish anything no matter what they look like.
Summary: After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.
A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay, stars Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, and Zach Galifianakis. It will be released March 9th.