Country: United States
Release Date: 1 December, 2017
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Starring: Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson
Age Restriction: 18 years
Duration: 113 minutes
Box Office: $?
Wonder is new film from Lionsgate, which is based on the New York Times bestseller by R. J. Palacio about a boy born to standout. It tells the incredibly inspiring and moving story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
Starring Room’s Jacob Tremblay, as August Pullman, alongside Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Mandy Patinkin and Daveed Diggs, the film comes to UK cinemas 1st December 2017. Watch the latest trailer for the film below.
R.J. Palacio never envisioned that her “little book about a little boy with enormous challenges” would one day become a feature-length film. But it has; the Lionsgate adaptation of Palacio’s Wonder (Knopf, 2012) releases on November 17, starring Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, and Owen Wilson. The Perks of Being a Wallflower author Stephen Chbosky directed.
#4 A great release date: December 1, 2017
Not only was a Wonder movie nowhere on Palacio’s horizon, when she was writing the book, she didn’t know that it would necessarily even be published: “I had no idea that it would become what it’s become,” Palacio said. As a first-time author who had also worked as an art director and book jacket designer, Palacio knew of the hurdles facing any book, particularly one that “didn’t fit into the categories trending at the time” (notably, dystopian fiction was hugely popular). Wonder is the story of a 10-year-old boy named August (Auggie) Pullman, who was born with craniofacial differences. The novel is initially told from the previously homeschooled Auggie’s perspective as he struggles to find acceptance and friendship in a new school. The story also shifts to the narrative point of view of Auggie’s sister and other characters.
With its contemporary storyline and quiet focus on empathy and accepting differences, Wonder was a far cry from the dystopian blockbusters of the era. Yet, now Palacio sees that the story resonated with readers because it offered “a combination of the right message at the right time, told in the right way.” She believes the emphasis on choosing kindness “expands beyond the circumstances of the novel itself,” and ended up having a more enduring impact on readers than, say, a title that might fit more neatly into a trending category.
For Palacio, the film’s release is especially—if regrettably—timely. “We are living in very, very difficult times, when the very notion of kindness is politicized. Kindness is seen as a sign of weakness but, actually, kindness takes courage and strength,” she said.
An author allowing others to adapt her story to screen takes a kind of courage and strength as well. Palacio counts herself lucky: she felt early on in the adaptation process that Wonder was in the hands of the right filmmakers. She is especially appreciative of her director, Chbosky, whom she calls “so supportive and mindful.” She knew intuitively that Chbosky and his team “wanted to make a great movie for their kids,” and said they approached the project not like Hollywood directors and producers, but “like great parents.”.