Disney has tapped Ava DuVernay, director of Oscar-winning Selma, to direct two science fiction scripts: A Wrinkle In Time and Intelligent Life, reported Deadline. The script for A Wrinkle In Time will be written by Jennifer Lee, the writer and co-director of Disney’s animated blockbuster Frozen.
A Wrinkle in Time is the better-known of the two projects, being beloved by children since its publication in 1962. Author Madeleine L’Engle centered the book around Meg Murry, a 13-year-old girl who sets out with her brothers and her friend Calvin to find her father, a government scientist who has gone missing. The children travel through time using a “tesseract” and find Meg’s father on another planet. A Wrinkle in Time is just the first in a series of novels called the Time Quintet. The first book was adapted for TV in 2001 and distributed in the US by Disney in 2004, but it received largely negative reviews.
Intelligent Life will also have science fiction elements to it. According to Deadline, that movie is about “a UN worker in a department designed to represent mankind if there was ever contact with aliens, who falls for a mystery woman who turns out to be one.”
Deadline reports that it’s unclear which movie will go into production first, although the deal for A Wrinkle in Time closed first. DuVernay made her directorial debut with a $200,000-budget film called The Middle of Nowhere, which won her the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2012. Her next film, Selma, was made with a $20 million budget and was nominated last year for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
According to Variety, Lee has been working on A Wrinkle in Time since 2014, when she “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.”
Just last year, The Wall Street Journal published three previously lost pages of A Wrinkle in Time, cut before publication and discovered by L’Engle’s granddaughter after her death.