Following the critical and commercial success of the Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay-starring film, Wonder, Lionsgate is set to develop NYT best selling author R.J. Palacio’s graphic novel White Bird: A Wonder Story into a feature. Wonder producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films, as well as Palacio, will once again produce the adaptation.
White Bird, which hit bookstores today via Alfred A. Knopf, inhabits the same universe as Wonder, which centered on young Auggie Pullman, a boy born with facial differences, and his transition to a mainstream elementary school.
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White Bird follows a young Jewish girl hidden away by a boy and his family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Recounted by Grandmere to her grandson, Julian, a character already known to those familiar with Wonder, Grandmere’s story about her childhood—her fairy-tale life before the war, how everything abruptly changed when the Nazi’s occupied France, and how the boy she and her classmates once shunned becomes her savior and best friend — is transformational for Julian. It is his evolution, as well as Grandmere’s extraordinary story, that helps White Bird movingly demonstrate the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives.
James Myers will oversee the project on behalf of Lionsgate.
Wonder, which was released in 2017, grossed over $305 million worldwide, while the novel, released in 2012, spent seven years on the New York Times bestseller list. Recently, Lionsgate, Broadway producer Jill Furman, and Palacio announced that the title is being developed into a stage musical.
Palacio, whose books have sold more than 15 million copies with editions published in fifty-three languages, is repped by Anonymous Content and Trident Media Group.