'Wonder' Producers Lionsgate, Mandeville Films Reteam for 'White Bird' Drama
Wonder producers Lionsgate and Mandeville Films are reteaming for another movie adaptation based on a R.J. Palacio's novel, White Bird: A Wonder Story.
After Wonder, also written by Palacio, earned a worldwide box office gross of $305 million as a movie starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, Lionsgate is developing the White Bird film adaptation, and Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce alongside Palacio.
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The acquisition and movie development deal was announced Tuesday by Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. White Bird, the fourth entry in Palacio's Wonder series and her first graphic novel, tells the fictional life story of the grandmother of Julian, the boy who bullied Auggie Pullman in the original Wonder novel, and is set in Nazi-occupied France during the Second World War.
As told by Grandmere to Julian, her grandson, a fairy-tale life before the war for a young Jewish girl is turned upside down by the occupying Nazis and a boy she and her classmates once shunned becomes her savior and best friend.
White Bird becomes a tale of empathy as Julian evolves as a character by the graphic novel's end from bully to sympathetic protagonist. "White Bird like Wonder is about taking risks, taking a stand and the power of kindness. It is about the power and consequences of being brave and we are thrilled to be adapting White Bird together with her and Mandeville Films," Lionsgate's Kahane said in a statement.
James Myers will oversee the White Bird adaptation for Lionsgate. "The team at Lionsgate values artists and storytellers and has been crucial to expanding the fan community surrounding Wonder. 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," Palacio added in her own statement.
Mandeville is behind the period drama The Aeronauts for Amazon Studios, starring Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, and is also known for box office hits like The Muppets and Beauty and the Beast.
Palacio is represented by Howie Sanders of Anonymous Content and Alyssa Eisner Henkin, of Trident Media Group.
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