The short teaser trailer for the Ava Duvernay-directed film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time dropped last night, and it is a wild, exciting interpretation of one of our favorite young adult novels. Madeleine L’Engle’s seminal 1963 work is so a part of our collective, Western literary experience, it’s hard to believe that the author went through 26 rejections before finally getting picked up for publication. The seed of inspiration for the book, which then became a series, came from a cross-country camping trip L’Engle took with her family in the spring of 1959, and took her agent several tries with forty-odd publisher inquiries. It became a case of knowing someone who knew someone to get A Wrinkle in Time published — a guest at a Christmas tea party L’Engle threw happened to know John C. Farrar of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Fifty-four years later, A Wrinkle in Time, and its subsequent sequels, has set a standard for young adult fantasy and science fiction. The nature of L’Engle’s story has set the tone for a lot of great storytelling, and thank goodness for that. Without A Wrinkle in Time’s main character, Meg Murry, we would argue there would be no Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. And while the scientific notions behind a tesseract are inspired by and based in actual quantum physics, L’Engle’s way of visualizing a tesseract (often recreated in tattoo form), created a universal way to boil down a really complex theory of time.
This 2018 adaptation is rife with talent too — Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Zach Galifianakis, and even Oprah. With Duvernay at the helm, just the announcement of the movie alone was enough to get us hyped, but the trailer has sealed the deal. Set to a bizarre, off-key “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” we see Meg’s dad and prominent scientist (Chris Pine) get swept away, and the battle between good and evil begins.
Most A Wrinkle in Time aficionados have chosen to get the actual wrinkles in time on their skin — while the initial prints of the book didn’t have illustrations until a 1979 edition, the book has two small drawings of the layman’s version of a tesseract. Two hands hold a string taut and wide, with an ant trying to cross the long way, and the two hands come close together, the ant crossing from hand to hand and avoiding the string altogether. This is how the characters travel to different dimensions — time and space flatten like fabric for a safe, and scary, crossing.
Hopefully this new movie will inspire more tesseracts and L’Engle quote tattoos, as well as a new edition with some sweet new cover art to replicate. We’re absolutely counting down the days until we can see this adaptation on the big screen, and figure out how to honor this next phase of L’Engle’s work with some new body art.