Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, the story of a teenage girl on a dangerous mission across the universe to rescue her father, has charmed and inspired millions — and fans of the 1963 Newbery Medal winner need not wait any longer to experience the novel on screen! The classic novel comes to life on March 9 in the latest A Wrinkle in Time movie adaptation, and we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the film before seeing it in theaters, including quotes from the cast and crew and changes made from the book to the movie.
1. This movie has been a long time coming.
In fact, producer Catherine Hand has been trying to adapt the movie for 30 years. Like many of us, she counted A Wrinkle in Time as one of her favorite books, telling The Washington Post, “There were so many details that were mirrored in my own life.” Hand worked closely with L’Engle for years to develop the project, pressing on even after an unsuccessful 2013 made-for-TV movie adaptation.
2. Visionary Ava DuVernay is smashing barriers as the film’s director.
With Wrinkle, DuVernay becomes the first African-American woman to direct a movie with a budget over $100 million — and only the fourth woman to solo-direct a movie with that budget. Truly groundbreaking!
3. The movie is being lauded for its diverse cast.
Fans of the book know that the protagonist, Meg Murry, is guided through her journey by the three mysterious witches — Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon). From the very beginning, DuVernay knew that she was going to demand a diverse cast to play these iconic roles. DuVernay tells TIME that she wanted the witches to be “black, white, and someone who wasn’t either.”
Storm Reid, who stars as Meg, spoke about breaking barriers with Teen Vogue:
“Diversity should be forever; it should be a normal thing. So I feel like Ms. Ava [DuVernay], and Ms. Oprah, and stories like this are normalizing it. And I feel like we’re breaking barriers slowly but surely.”
The actors were quick to sign on to DuVernay’s vision, completing a star-studded ensemble that also includes Chris Pine and Gugu Mbatha–Raw as Meg’s parents, plus Zach Galafinakis as the memorable Happy Medium. Neither Winfrey nor Pine had read the book when signing on, but they both quickly became fans.
4. The younger stars have impressed the cast and crew.
“If I was younger, if I saw Meg as myself, Meg would empower me and inspire me and make me feel like I could save the world. So to have those characters and to be able to be that for young African-American girls or just young people in general is really empowering.”
To cast the role of Calvin, Hand did a Google search for 13-year-old red-headed actors and came across pictures of Levi Miller. When she brought his name to the casting director, she learned that he was already scheduled for an audition for the film!
5. The costumes are out of this world — literally!
The gorgeous costumes, hair, and make-up vary drastically and intentionally throughout Wrinkle as the plot progresses and the settings change. Lead hairstylist Kimberly Kimble met this daunting task by creating intricate 25 wigs for the film. She explained her style choices to Collider, saying, “One thing I knew was that it needed to be from another world. These women are cosmic universal beings, so when you see them, they’re not your average hairstyles.”
6. Loyal fans of the book will notice a few changes.
For example, the length of time which Meg’s father has been gone is extended from two years to four years in the film. Additionally, the Murry twins — Sandy and Dennis — don’t appear in the movie, although Collider reports that there are references to them. Finally, the film does get some modern updates, with OutKast earning a shoutout from Kaling’s Mrs. Who.
7. The movie boasts several exciting cameos.
8. There are no sequels planned… yet.
A Wrinkle in Time is actually the first book in L’Engle’s Time Quintet, which also includes A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time. However, no film sequels are in the works at this time. If you’re wanting to see more of Meg’s story in subsequent films, Hand tells Collider, “Sequels happen because the first [film] is successful, so buy tickets.”
Do you plan on seeing the A Wrinkle in Time movie? Let us know in the comments!