In 2017, Lionsgate released the movie “Wonder,” based on R.J. Palacio’s novel. The film, made with a $20 million budget, surprised everyone by earning $306.2 million at the box office and receiving praise from audiences and critics. Given its success, it was only natural for Lionsgate to want to continue the Wonder story in some way.
More than just a commercial venture, Wonder offers a positive message in a world where love should triumph over hate. The original film told the heartfelt story of 11-year-old Auggie Pullman, born with a rare genetic disorder and facial deformity, facing bullying and discrimination at a private school. The spin-off sequel/prequel, White Bird (formerly White Bird: A Wonder Story), shifts the focus to Auggie’s bully, Julian, and his interactions with his grandmother, a survivor of World War II in France. She believes that sharing stories from her past will help teach her grandson important life lessons.
- Gillian Anderson as Vivienne
- Helen Mirren as Grandmère
- Bryce Gheisar as Julian
- Olivia Ross as Rose
- Patsy Ferran as Mlle Petitjean
- Jo Stone-Fewings as Jean Paul Beaumier
- Stuart McQuarrie as Pastor Luc
- Orlando Schwerdt as Julien
- Ariella Glaser as Sara
- Philip Lenkowsky as Rabbi Bernstein
- John Bubniak as Gendarme Marc
- Ishai Golan as Max
When Is The Release Date of White Bird?
The release of White Bird on the big screen has been delayed. The movie was originally scheduled to open on September 16, 2022. However, it was postponed until October 14, 2022. Lionsgate withdrew the movie from distribution a month in advance. After that, the movie was supposed to have a restricted run on August 18, 2023, then a wide run on August 25, 2023. However, that release likewise never materialized. More than two years after its initial release date, on October 4, 2023, Lionsgate confirmed in December 2023 that the movie will finally be released.
Is There a Trailer for White Bird?
On June 23, 2023, Lionsgate posted the first official trailer for White Bird on their YouTube channel. The reveals the context in which the movie is expressed; sequences from Wonder depict the horrific bullying that young Auggie Pullman endured. The next scene in the teaser features Julian’s grandma trying to teach her young granddaughter about the perils of bullying by drawing on her own experiences. Her experiences in Nazi-occupied France during World War II are recounted in a flashback, where her classmates are bullying her because she is Jewish. She describes how a buddy and his family’s generosity allowed her to survive.
On December 19, Lionsgate unveiled a new trailer for White Bird, which also revealed the movie’s revised October 2024 release date.
What Is White Bird Plot?
Where Wonder leaves off, the narrative continues. Because of his bullying of Auggie over his appearance, Julian has been sent home from Beecher Prep. Following these incidents, Julian’s grandmother pays him a visit and is moved to narrate a tale from her earlier years. Julian might use a little more love and compassion in his life, as this story suggests. As she recounts her memories as a young Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied France during the height of World War II, Grandmère takes her grandson on a trip down memory lane. She survives and lives to tell her grandson about the strength of love and empathy because of the brave actions of her classmate and his parents, who go to great measures to hide her from the advancing Nazis.
The official synopsis for White Bird:
From the best-selling author of Wonder, the book that sparked a movement to “choose kind,” comes the inspirational next chapter. In White Bird, we follow Julian (Bryce Gheisar), who has struggled to belong ever since he was expelled from his former school for his treatment of Auggie Pullman. To transform his life, Julian’s grandmother (Helen Mirren) finally reveals to Julian her own story of courage — during her youth in Nazi-occupied France, a boy shelters her from mortal danger. They find first love in a stunning, magical world of their own creation, while the boy’s mother (Gillian Anderson) risks everything to keep her safe. From director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland and Christopher Robin), screenwriter Mark Bomback, and based on R.J. Palacio’s book, White Bird: A Wonder Story, like Wonder before it, is an uplifting movie about how one act of kindness can live on forever.
Who Is Making White Bird?
Marc Forster, who just helmed the sleeper hit A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks (which was, incidentally, filmed after White Bird), will be directing White Bird: A Wonder Story. A skilled director, Forster made his breakthrough in 2001 with the Oscar-winning picture Monster’s Ball. He has since directed movies including Christopher Robin, World War Z, Stranger Than Fiction, The Kite Runner, Finding Neverland, and Quantum of Solace.
Mark Bomback wrote the movie’s script. In addition to the 2019 thriller The Art of Racing in the Rain, Bomback has written screenplays for popular movies like The Wolverine, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes. He was the showrunner for the Apple TV+ miniseries Defending Jacob most recently.
Forster’s frequent colleagues Matthias Koenigswieser and Matt Chessé (A Man Called Otto) are responsible for the editing and cinematography, respectively. Wall-E’s 15-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman wrote the film’s soundtrack.
Wonder’s producers, David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, along with the book’s author, R.J. Palacio, are producing the movie.