If you’re one of the many readers who has a much-loved childhood copy of A Wrinkle in Time stashed on your bookshelf, the upcoming film adaptation should already be good news. But even if you’ve never read Madeline L’Engle’s sci-fi fantasy novel — a YA classic before the category even existed, about an ordinary girl who must travel through space and time to reunite her family — then there are plenty of reasons to get excited. For one thing, it’s already made history: Produced by Disney and directed by Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay (Selma), A Wrinkle in Time will be the first film with a production budget over $100 million to be directed by a woman of color. With Disney’s budget and pedigree, the special effects so necessary to this time-traveling, planet-hopping story will hopefully be as fully realized on screen as they have been in readers’ imaginations. And finally, the cast is an irresistible combination of mega-stars (Oprah Winfrey!), critically acclaimed actors (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), and young newcomers (Storm Reid). Below, a run-down of the cast so far, and a refresher on the characters they’ll be playing.
Storm Reid as Meg Murry
Meg, the story’s 12-year-old heroine, is a bright and emotionally intense girl who feels that she’s the awkward oddball in her brilliant, good-looking family. Nevertheless, it’s up to her to save her family, and the world around her, from dark forces that are encroaching. Reid, 13, was cast after a long search; she previously appeared in 12 Years a Slave and the American Girl film Lea to the Rescue.
Chris Pine as Dr. Alex Murry
The Star Trek Beyond and Wonder Woman star will play Meg’s father, who has disappeared mysteriously while working on a top-secret physics experiment.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dr. Kate Murry
Meg feels inadequate next to her mother, beautiful biologist Kate Murray — which makes sense, because who wouldn’t feel inadequate next to Gugu Mbatha-Raw? The British actress starred opposite Will Smith in Concussion and will play Plumette (the feather duster) in next year’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.
Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Whatsit
This trio of eccentric, magical ladies with supernatural origins teach Meg how to travel through the fifth dimension using a “wrinkle in time.” They’re played by the women-empowering dream team of Winfrey, Kaling, and Witherspoon, all of whom are known for their work both onscreen and behind the camera.
Deric McCabe as Charles Wallace
Filipino-American child actor McCabe gets his big break in the role of Meg’s beloved little brother, a child prodigy whose astounding secret abilities put him at the center of a cosmic battle between good and evil. McCabe has never appeared in a feature film, but his screen debut will likely come next year in one of two smaller films: the musical drama Hold On and the Blumhouse horror film Stephanie, both slated for 2017.
Zach Galifianakis as The Happy Medium
A female character in the book, the Happy Medium is the most literal version of the expression: a jolly fortune-teller. What she sees in her crystal ball, however, is not always the happiest outcome. Comedian Galifianakis will next appear on the big screen in the period drama Tulip Fever.
Levi Miller as Calvin O’Keefe
Fourteen-year-old Australian actor Miller, who played the Peter Pan character in last year’s Pan, co-stars as Meg’s more-popular classmate and potential love interest Calvin.
André Holland as Principal Jenkins
Like many teenage girls, Meg feels like the world is against her, and her unsympathetic school principal doesn’t help matters. Holland had notable roles in Selma and this year’s critically acclaimed Moonlight.
Michael Peña as Red
The role played by the Ant-Man and The Martian star is being billed as “Red,” but it seems likely that he’s playing “the man with the red eyes” — a sort of sinister tour guide encountered by the children on their journey to a frightening new planet.