Screenwriter defends decision to remove Christian references from film adaptation of 'A Wrinkle in Time'

Oprah Winfrey is featured in this image. | Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

The screenwriter of the film adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" has defended her decision to remove Christian references from the movie, saying she wanted it to be more inclusive.

Screenwriter Jennifer Lee, who had previously worked on "Frozen," had reportedly cut out Bible quotes, a reference to Jesus and Christian historical figures when she transformed the children's science fantasy book into a big budget film.

The children's book recounts the story of a girl named Meg, who goes to space to find her missing scientist father.

During her journey, Meg meets three celestial beings, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, who guide her with scriptures like 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 and John 1:5.

In one part of the book, Meg's brother, Charles, realizes that Jesus is someone who fights evil and asks Meg's friend, Calvin, to read him a story from the book of Genesis.

Characters in the book also bring up several historical figures that have been omitted from the film adaptation. Some of the historical figures mentioned in the book include Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, French theologian Albert Schweitzer, Ludwig van Beethoven, Rembrandt van Rijn, and St. Francis.

The film adaptation, on the other hand, mentions some historical figures like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Jane Austen, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Maya Angelou.

Lee has removed the Christian elements from the film adaptation, arguing that she was focused on the battle between light and darkness, which she described as being "universal."

"In a sad way, some of the other elements are more important right now and bigger — sort of this fight of light against darkness. It's a universal thing and timeless and seems to be a battle that has to keep being had," Lee said, according to The Christian Post.

The screenwriter had surmised that L'Engle's intention was to look at the "ordinary real hero in an extraordinary situation," and the "power of love in this world."

Lee claimed that she "stayed very true" to L'Engle's intentions, noting that the original author had looked at it through the "lens" of Christianity, while everyone else "has a different lens in."

"That's what inclusiveness is to me in this film, is really looking at all of us have a role to play in this no matter where we come from or what we look like," Lee went on to say.

The movie, which is expected to debut at second place at the box office, stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Storm Reid, Mindy Kaling and Deric McCabe.