Wonder, the Stephen Chbosky-directed 2017 movie based on the novel of the same name by R. J. Palacio, is getting a sequel. Well, okay, it’s not really a sequel. Instead, Lionsgate has dubbed the new film – called White Bird: A Wonder Story – a “creative companion” to the film. It’s once again based on something written by R. J. Palacio, but tells a completely new story.
I remember seeing trailers for Wonder, the 2017 film starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay, but I didn’t realize it was a box office success. In fact, I felt like the film kind of came and went without incident. But as it turns out, Wonder was a pretty big hit, taking in $305.9 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. Now, Lionsgate wants to translate that success into a new movie. It’s not a sequel – it’s a “creative companion” called White Bird: A Wonder Story. It’s based on the graphic novel by Wonder writer R. J. Palacio, and brings back Julian Albans, a bully character played by Bryce Gheisar in the 2017 film. Here’s the White Bird synopsis:
In White Bird: A Wonder Story, kindness even has the power to save lives. Julian Albans, the 11-year-old bully who left Beecher Prep, is still waiting for that insight when he is visited by his Grandmère from Paris and is transformed by her remarkable story of compassion and courage. Grandmère’s fairy-tale life before the war abruptly changes as the Nazis occupy France, and the outcast classmate who she once shunned becomes her savior and best friend. Based on R. J. Palacio’s graphic novel, White Bird, like Wonder before it, is an emotional story about the ways that even in the most harrowing circumstances, empathy for others can make every difference in the world.
Marc Forster, director of Stranger Than Fiction, Quantum of Solace, Christopher Robin, and more, will helm the film, while Mark Bomback (The Art of Racing in the Rain, War for the Planet of the Ape) is handling the script. Regarding the film’s announcement, Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said:
“Wonder connected with audiences who responded to its message of kindness and empathy, of looking past the surface to the person underneath. Now more than ever, we need stories that champion compassion for others, and R.J. Palacio’s graphic novel White Bird builds on those themes. To direct the adaptation, Marc Forster brings not only mastery of his craft but a tender heart and gentle vision for a story of people finding connections between each other even in the most trying situation.”
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