R.J. Palacio’s White Bird: A Wonder Story being adapted by Lionsgate
After adapting R.J. Palacio’s best-selling novel, Wonder, into a sleeper hit and box office phenomenon that grossed more than $305 million worldwide, Lionsgate is developing the author’s new graphic novel White Bird: A Wonder Story into a feature film. The novel is being released into bookstores today by publisher Alfred A. Knopf.
With White Bird, Palacio writes a story of 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.
“R.J. Palacio is a gifted storyteller and has a way of teaching through her stories in such a beautiful way,” said Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. “White Bird is such a story that the whole world should read and we look forward to bringing it to the screen.”
“The team at Lionsgate values artists and storytellers and has been crucial to expanding the fan community surrounding Wonder,” added Palacio. “They have been enormously supportive as I have been writing White Bird and I could not feel more secure that my new graphic novel is in the right creative hands at the right studio.”
Hoberman and Lieberman produced Wonder for Mandeville Films alongside Palacio, and the three are joining forces again to produce the new feature film.
Wonder chronicles the most unlikely of heroes following the journey of Auggie Pullman, a boy born with facial differences that prevents him from going to a mainstream school. As he enters the local fifth grade, his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, and Auggie’s extraordinary journey unites them and proves you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. The film stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay. The novel is an international publishing sensation for Alfred A Knopf, spending more than seven years on the New York Times bestseller list. R.J. Palacio’s books have sold more than 15 million copies with editions published in fifty-three languages.