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Ryan Coogler Pens Heartfelt Letter to Ava DuVernay

13 March 2018

A Wrinkle in Time stars Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, and Mindy Kaling; it's a female-driven movie.

This isn't the first time that DuVernay has distanced herself from a Disney franchise, with the director revealing that she passed on the opportunity to helm Marvel's Black Panther as "it really wasn't going to be an Ava DuVernay film". As a writer and director, she's known for powerhouse, emotional films like Selma - the biopic of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama - as well as 13th, a Netflix documentary that goes into America's prison system to show how racial inequality affects inmates.

"A Wrinkle in Time", a fantasy adventure that celebrates inclusion and accepting personal flaws, took in $33.1 million in its opening weekend - a letdown for a big-budget Disney film.

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The United States is probably more divided now than it ever has been, so it's refreshing to see Ryan Coogler paying tribute to another director who is making groundbreaking art that spotlights what's going on in our culture. DuVernay created that series in 2016, two years before inclusion riders became part of the national conversation, as Coogler points out.

Ava is a pioneer.

Coogler has made no secret about seeking insight from his contemporaries, including help on the script for Black Panther from Donald Glover.

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DuVernay "makes the most distant dreams and ideas a reality" through her work in shows like "Queen Sugar", Coogler wrote.

He went on to discuss the early days of DuVernay's career as an admired Hollywood publicist, noting she'd written, produced, and directed "two incredible films, about black women finding hope while experiencing grief and loss, all while maintaining a production and distribution company to finance and distribute underserved independent films made by women and people of color".

"The main character in the film, Meg, uses her love, her hope and her kickass skills as a scientist to bring him back, and maybe she saves the universe along the way", he wrote to end the letter.

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Ryan Coogler Pens Heartfelt Letter to Ava DuVernay