Jennifer Lee’s next project for Disney will be the screenplay for Madeline L’Engle’s beloved Newbury Medal winning A Wrinkle in Time, which Variety reports “was one of Lee’s favorite novels as a child, and 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.”
Lee’s animated treatment promises to reinvigorate a property with a troubled history. In 2010, Jeff Stockwell (Bridge to Terabithia) was attached to write a live action adaptation for Bedrock studios with a budget of $35 million, but development snagged. A television adaptation aired in 2003, but was not well received. Newsweek interviewed L’Engle:
So you’ve seen the movie?
I’ve glimpsed it.
And did it meet expectations?
Oh, yes. I expected it to be bad, and it is.
The Frozen writer-director seems ideally suited to bring A Wrinkle in Time to the screen, though. Even at a glance, the two stories share similarities. It has a strong female cast. The plot is driven by familial bonds and obligations. The character development hinges on overcoming unproductive negative emotions. The protagonist learns that parents can’t fix everything and that children can solve problems themselves. And the climactic scene is all about sibling love.
“Love. That was what she had that IT did not have.”