*Actress Storm Reid, who made her film debut in “12 Years a Slave,” is in talks to star in Disney’s adaptation of the novel “A Wrinkle in Time,” reports Variety.
Ava DuVernay is directing a cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. The adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s book is being written by Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed “Frozen” with Chris Buck.
The story follows children as they travel through time and visit strange worlds in order to find their missing scientist father.
Reid will play the lead role of 13-year-old Meg Murry, the oldest daughter among the children.
According to Mashable, Reid landed the part after a worldwide search. After her film debut as Emily, daughter of the inconsolable Eliza in “12 Years a Slave,” Reid went on to book a role in the made for TV movie “American Girl: Lea to the Rescue.” She also participated in the Sundance sci-fi pic “Sleight” which opens nationwide in April.
Vanity Fair reports of Reid’s casting:
DuVernay’s original casting announcement called for “a 14-year-old mixed-race girl of African-American and Caucasian descent. This girl is questioning her life, her place in the world and her family. . . . While troubled, she possesses untapped strength and intelligence which carries her through her search for truth.” The listing for the other kid characters in the film, Charles and Calvin—who is described as red-headed in the book; both characters are played by white actors in the 2003 TV movie—calls for “a 5-year-old mixed-race boy of African-American and Caucasian descent” and “a 16-year-old boy who is an ethnic minority.”
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, DuVernay said Disney was fully on board with her vision of a multicultural cast: “‘This is how I see the story,’” she recalls telling them during an early meeting. “They were like, ‘Yup, good, O.K. So what do you need?’” Disney has had massive success, of late, casting unknown young performers. Neel Sethi of The Jungle Book, Oakes Fegley of Pete’s Dragon, Madina Nalwanga of The Queen of Katwe, and Auli’i Cravalho of Moana all landed their leading roles with little-to-no credits to their names. The first two turned in warm, open performances in their respective movies; Vanity Fair film critic Richard Lawson also called Nalwanga “a great find, natural and expressive.”
Here’s Reid’s heartbreaking scene in “12 Years a Slave,” being ripped from her mother Eliza at an auction house.