World War Z filmmaker Marc Forster has boarded Lionsgate’s feature adaptation of White Bird: A Wonder Story, a creative graphic novel drawn from the universe of the 2017 Lionsgate-Mandeville Films hit pic Wonder which grossed $306M WW. Forster returns to the studio where he directed the Oscar-winning Monster’s Ball 19 years ago.
In White Bird: A Wonder Story from author R.J. Palacio, 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.
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Scribe Mark Bomback is adapting White Bird, his previous credits include The Art of Racing in the Rain, War for the Planet of the Apes. Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman who produced Wonder, are returning for this new movie along with Palacio. Renée Wolfe will be coming on board as an executive EP with Alex Young.
Said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Nathan Kahane, “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 situations.”
Forster is a Golden Globe nominee for his work on the film Finding Neverland, which was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. His feature directing credits also include Christopher Robin, the Daniel Craig 007 film Quantum of Solace, The Kite Runner, and Stranger than Fiction, among many other films.
White Bird is published by Alfred A. Knopf. Palacio’s books have sold more than 15M copies with editions published in 53 languages.
James Myers and Aaron Edmonds are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio. Bonnie Stylides negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate.