Nigel M. Smith, theguardian.com
Ava DuVernay has made history as the first woman of color to direct a live-action film that boasts a budget over $100m, with Disney’s upcoming A Wrinkle in Time.
The Selma director has been attached to the project since February, after passing up the opportunity to direct Black Panther for Marvel, but the milestone wasn’t made official until Tuesday, when the adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s novel was included on a list of big-budget films receiving California tax incentives.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, DuVernay said she’s “not the first [woman of color] capable of doing so. Not by a long shot”.
“Thanks to @DisneyStudios for breaking this glass with me,” she added.
DuVernay is only the third woman to direct a $100m film, joining Kathryn Bigelow for 2009’s K-19: The Widowmaker, and Patty Jenkins for the upcoming Wonder Woman.
A Wrinkle in Time was mentioned at the Democratic national convention by Chelsea Clinton, who shared that the book had captured her imagination as a child. The novel centers on the bespectacled Meg Murry and her courageous quest to save her scientist father. DuVernay has teased her adaptation as a film “about a time-traveling black girl traveling through the universe”.
DuVernay is meanwhile enjoying a very good year: her first documentary, The 13th, about racial inequality in America, has been selected as the first non-fiction film to open the New York film festival in September; while her new TV series for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel, Queen Sugar, has already been renewed for a second season before the first season’s launch in the fall.