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Top 10 Differences Between A Wrinkle in Time Book & Movie

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Script written by Savannah Sher These are Top 10 Biggest Differences Between A Wrinkle in Time Book and Movie! For this list, we’re looking at all the ways in which the 2018 film deviated from the story told in Madeleine L’Engle’s novel. A spoiler alert is most definitely in effect! In the film, the explicit Christian references have been removed. These religious undertones were integral to the plot, and because the filmmakers removed them completely, some believe the story lost some authenticity. But in today’s more secular world, a film explicitly religious in nature would not necessarily have wide appeal. We also don’t see all the presents the children receive! In the book, when Meg first meets Mrs Which, she doesn’t immediately take on a corporeal form. In the novel, she explains, “I ddo nott thinkk I willl matterrialize commpletely,”. “I ffindd itt verry ttirinngg.” But in the film, she’s played by Oprah, so the filmmakers were definitely NOT going to miss an opportunity to put this mega-star on screen.
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Top 10 Biggest Differences Between A Wrinkle in Time Book and Movie


Even diehard fans did not see that coming. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Biggest Differences Between A Wrinkle in Time Book and Movie.

For this list, we’re looking at all the ways in which the 2018 film deviated from the story told in Madeleine L’Engle’s novel. A spoiler alert is most definitely in effect.

#10: The Explicit Christian References Have Been Removed

When the novel “A Wrinkle in Time” was published in 1962, many children’s stories held religious, namely Christian, themes and allegories. In Madeleine L’Engle’s book, she goes further by making reference to Jesus and angels, and even has a character deliver a lengthy quote from Corinthians. These religious undertones were integral to the plot, and because the filmmakers removed them completely, some believe the story lost some authenticity. But in today’s more secular world, a film explicitly religious in nature would not necessarily have wide appeal.

#9: We Don’t See ALL the Presents the Children Receive

Though not nearly as monumental as the secularization of the movie’s story, there is one key scene that the producers were forced to shorten: before the three children embark alone into Camazotz, where Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which cannot follow, the women offer them gifts to help them along on their journey. In the movie, we only get to see the gifts that Meg receives (Mrs Who’s glasses and Mrs Whatsit’s faults), but the audience doesn’t see the presents that the two boys get.

#8: There Are New & Omitted Characters

While there was at least one new character added to the film, there are also several who were left out completely. For example, if you only watched the movie but didn’t read the book, you wouldn’t know that Meg actually has twin brothers! Admittedly, they don’t appear much in the novel, so it does make sense that their existence wasn’t important enough to keep in. And if you don’t remember Rowan Blanchard’s character being in the book . . . that’s because she wasn’t! Meg’s bully, Veronica, was created expressly for the movie.

#7: Mrs Which Is Visible

In the book, when Meg first meets Mrs Which, she doesn’t immediately take on a corporeal form. In the novel, she explains, “I ddo nott thinkk I willl matterrialize commpletely,”. “I ffindd itt verry ttirinngg.” But in the film, she’s played by Oprah, so the filmmakers were definitely NOT going to miss an opportunity to put this mega-star on screen. Another thing: in the book, Mrs Which seems to have problems speaking, while in the movie she has totally normal speech patterns. Other than that, her presence in the story is largely unchanged.

#6: The Mrs Ws Don’t Know Where Mr. Murry Is

An interesting change made to the movie is that the seemingly wise and all-knowing Mrs Ws don’t actually know where Meg’s father has disappeared to. This seems incongruent with their characters, because in the book, they, of course, know exactly where he is, and also what the children will have to face in order to find him. It’s a confusing change because it kind of undermines how powerful the characters are supposed to be. This is one that we’ll need the filmmakers to explain for us!

#5: The Happy Medium Is Male

One of the things that people were excited about when it came to “A Wrinkle in Time” being adapted for the big screen was the fact that it is a story that lends itself to a female-stacked cast. Along with the protagonist being a young girl, all three Mrs play large roles. For some reason though, the creators of the film decided to make one female character male: The Happy Medium is played by Zach Galifianakis. Interestingly, in the 2003 TV movie adaptation, the character was also male.

#4: The Main Character Is Biracial

One of the biggest changes that was announced early in the production process was that the main character, Meg, would be portrayed by Storm Reid. When casting, Ava DuVernay looked for a young actress of mixed race to portray her protagonist. In the film, the Murray family lives in California instead of Connecticut, and the entire clan is delightfully diverse, with Chris Pine playing the father and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Meg’s mother. In our modern world, it totally makes sense to eschew the more directly “accurate” all-white casting.

#3: Camazotz Isn’t ‘Real’

This one may be a little complicated so bear with us. In the book, Camazotz is a planet where The It lives, but it is very much inhabited by real people. The residents seem to be under some sort of control from The It, which makes them live in this strange and homogenous way. In the movie, however, the people that the children see in Camazotz seem to be some sort of optical illusion created by The It. In fact, in the movie, the term Camazotz is actually used to refer to both the place and the evil forces that exist there.

#2: Charles Wallace Is Adopted

We’ve already talked about the added diversity of the Wallace family in the movie; and one more difference is that Charles Wallace is adopted. In the novel, Meg and Charles Wallace are biological siblings, along with the twins. Another big change that came about in the movie is Charles Wallace’s ability to speak comfortably. In the book, it says, ““It was true that Charles Wallace seldom spoke when anybody was around, so that many people thought he’d never learned to talk.” In the movie however, they completely left out this part of his character.

#1: Aunt Beast (& Ixchel) Don’t Appear


When adapting a novel for the screen, the harsh reality is that some things just have to be cut in order to make sure the resulting film isn’t, like, six or seven hours long. One of the storylines that’s lost in this film version is Meg’s visit to the planet Ixchel, and her interaction with Aunt Beast. Admittedly, the character of Aunt Beast is pretty darn strange, and, ultimately, her interaction with Meg isn’t crucial ore essential to the main storyline. According to insiders, though, the scenes were in fact shot but didn’t make the final cut.
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