Exclusive: Producer Talks Positive Message for Kids in ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

LifeZette spoke with filmmaker Jim Whitaker, one of the people behind the scenes of a top Disney release this year

“A Wrinkle in Time” represents a big moment for Hollywood. The Disney film is a $100 million science fiction adventure headed up by a variety of women — and directed by a woman.

It’s unprecedented in the same way that the nearly all-black cast and African setting of “Black Panther” was — and it paid off big time for that film. The team behind “Time” is no doubt hoping for similar success.

Based on the beloved and award-winning novel by Madeleine L’Engle, which was first published in 1962, the film version of “Time” has thus far received a mixed reaction from critics. But no matter if it finds success with audiences or not, the film is still a major milestone and one of the year’s signature releases.

LifeZette talked with producer Jim Whitaker about the making of the film — and why it has the “perfect” message for kids today.

“About four years ago, I approached the studio with the idea that this could be a great film. They, in turn, told me they were in the process of getting the rights,” said Whitaker by telephone. He’s based in Los Angeles.

After learning the movie was already in development, Whitaker pitched the studio on his vision, and the executives, in turn, teamed him up with producer Catherine Hand, who had been pursuing a movie version of the book for decades, literally.

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The story of a young girl in a galactic search for her scientist father eventually found a director in Ava DuVernay.

The “Selma” filmmaker pushed for the film and its diverse cast. “We should be making a movie that feels like the world we see today,” Whitaker recalls the director’s saying.

The producer believes 2018 is the perfect year for this story, as it was the only time technology could properly present the planet-jumping story.

Related: Teen Aims High, Hopes to Send 1,000 Girls to See ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

More important to the producer than the special effects and the diversity of the cast, however, is the positive message the film has — one he hopes kids walk away with after seeing the movie.

“If you have hope and you have love, it’s possible to be a change agent in the world,” Whitaker said, revealing he read the novel was he was just 12 years old and “fell in love with it.”

“It leaves you with a message that anything is possible.”

The movie is “updated to today,” but Whitaker still believes it brings across the themes of the book, which have affected so many in a positive way.

He said, “It leaves you with a message that anything is possible if you allow for love and you maintain hope.”

PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter

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