The announcement was made by Nathan Kahane, president of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
A Golden Globe nominee for his work on the film Finding Neverland, which was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award, Forster is also the director of Christopher Robin, World War Z, Quantum of Solace, The Kite Runner, and Stranger Than Fiction, among many other films.
The screenplay adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s graphic novel is by Mark Bomback (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 also producing the new film, along with Palacio. Renée Wolfe will be coming on board as an executive producer. Alex Young will also serve as an executive producer.
Wonder (buy at Amazon), the film adaptation of Palacio’s novel, was a global hit for Lionsgate and Mandeville in 2017, taking in $305 million in worldwide box office.
For millions of readers and moviegoers, Wonder is the captivating, inspiring, and uplifting story of the power of kindness – how it can build bridges and change hearts. In White Bird: A Wonder Story, kindness even has the power to save lives.
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.
Based on R. J. Palacio’s graphic novel, White Bird, like Wonder before it, is an emotional story about the ways that even in the most harrowing circumstances, empathy for others can make every difference in the world.
Commenting on the announcement, Kahane said, “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.”
Kahane added: “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.”
White Bird: A Wonder Story (buy at Amazon) is published by Alfred A. Knopf. R.J. Palacio’s books have sold more than 15 million copies with editions published in fifty three languages.
James Myers and Aaron Edmonds are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio. Bonnie Stylides negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate.