Ask anyone about the best children’s sci-fi novels, and Madeline L’Engle’s Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time will inevitably emerge. It’s been beloved by readers of all ages for over fifty years, though somehow the novel has avoided a big-screen adaptation since its publication (we’re not going to count the awful 2003 TV movie, and neither should you). Now, however, A Wrinkle in Time movie may finally get off the ground.
After delivering a children’s classic of her own, Frozen co-writer/director Jennifer Lee has been hired by Disney to adapt another. According to Variety, Lee “impressed Disney executives with her take on the project, which emphasizes a strong female-driven narrative and creatively approaches the science fiction and world-building elements of the book.” It’s unknown whether she’ll also direct the film, and though that’s entirely possible, her key role in Walt Disney Animation’s story trust may keep her too busy to snag the gig.
The complex nature of L’Engle’s novel is certainly one aspect of it that has prevented film adaptations from taking shape before, but Lee has a lot of clout over at Disney right now (Frozen, a juggernaut in every sense of the word, has won Oscars and become the highest-grossing animated film of all time), so there’s reason to suspect that the studio will stand with her if she stays committed to A Wrinkle in Time.
Here’s the synopsis for the novel, in case you’re unfamiliar with it:
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.