Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster is headed to the Wonder world.
Deadline reports the filmmaker will helm Lionsgate’s adaptation of White Bird: A Wonder Story. The original graphic novel by R.J. Palacio tells the continuing story of Julian, the bully from Palacio’s earlier prose novel Wonder. Sometime after his mother pulls him from Beecher Prep, he learns of his Jewish grandmother’s childhood in Nazi-occupied France — from a “fairy-tale” life before the war to how everything abruptly changed — and “how the boy she and her classmates once shunned becomes her savior and best friend.” War for the Planet of the Apes writer Mark Bomback is on screenplay duties.
Wonder itself was made into a feature film in 2017 with Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, and Bryce Gheisar as Julian. The film was a moderate enough success for the studio to continue exploring the Wonder story.
“Wonder connected with audiences who responded to its message of kindness and empathy, of looking past the surface to the person underneath,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane said in a statement. “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 situations.”
It is unclear if Lionsgate will treat this as a sequel, a standalone film, or part of a cinematic universe. Indeed, Gheisar has not been mentioned in any news about the film and, considering the years since Wonder was made, Julian will need to be recast no matter what relationship Lionsgate decides the films should have. If they do go the universe route, a number of other Wonder spinoffs exist to fuel further films. Wonder Producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman return alongside Palacio for White Bird, so it is likely a continuing series is in the cards.