Lionsgate is expanding its world of Wonder, tapping Marc Forster to direct White Bird: A Wonder Story, a creative companion drawn from the universe of the studio’s 2017 hit.
White Bird is based on the emotional graphic novel by R.J. Palacio, the author of Wonder, which starred Jacob Tremblay as a 10-year-old boy with Treacher Collins syndrome. The film was an inspiring and uplifting story about how kindness has the power to build bridges and change hearts. In White Bird: A Wonder Story, kindness even has the power to save lives.
Mark Bomback (The Art of Racing in the Rain) wrote the script this time around, while Wonder producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films are back to produce alongside Palacio. Renée Wolfe and Alex Young will serve as executive producers, and Lionsgate’s James Myers and Aaron Edmonds will overseeing the project on behalf of the studio, whose Bonnie Stylides negotiated the deal.
Wonder grossed $305 million worldwide, proving to be a huge hit for Lionsgate and Mandeville, and Palacio’s books have sold more than 15 million copies around the world, with editions published in 53 languages.
“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,” said Lionsgate president Nathan Kahane. “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.”
Forster broke out with Lionsgate’s 2001 drama Monster’s Ball, which would win an Oscar for Halle Berry’s performance. He followed that film with the J.M. Barrie movie Finding Neverland, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination and was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Forster went on to direct studio blockbusters such as the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace and Brad Pitt’s World War Z, but it’s movies like Christopher Robin and The Kite Runner (along with Finding Neverland) that make him a good fit for White Bird: A Wonder Story.