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White Bird: A Wonder Story - What We Know So Far

The 2017 film "Wonder" (based on the novel by R.J. Palacio) won the hearts and minds of moviegoers everywhere with its touching tale of 11-year-old August "Auggie" Pullman, a child born with a rare genetic disorder and facial deformity. Starring Jacob Tremblay, along with Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts, "Wonder" tells the story of Auggie's less-than-smooth transition from homeschool to a private school as he faces bullying and discrimination from his classmates.

Following up on the success of "Wonder," Lionsgate (per Deadline) has greenlit a spinoff sequel, "White Bird: A Wonder Story," centered on Auggie's bully, Julian (Bryce Gheisar). Like "Wonder," "White Bird" is based on a graphic novel from Palacio, and highlights the experiences of Julian's grandmother, who survived as a young Jewish girl in France during World War II. Outside of the graphic novel, Lionsgate has not revealed too many details regarding "White Bird." With that in mind, here is what we know so far about "White Bird: A Wonder Story."

What is the release date for White Bird: A Wonder Story?

According to Deadline, Lionsgate has planned to make "White Bird" since at least 2019. Beyond some casting announcements, not much else has surfaced about the project. On April 28, however, Lionsgate finally released an official launch date for the upcoming film, scheduling it to be released in theaters on September 16, 2022, as laid out in a separate article from Deadline.

Though announced in 2019, it's possible that Lionsgate and Mandeville Films began working on the "White Bird" film adaptation not long after "Wonder" hit the scene. In addition to those two companies, Participant also agreed to co-executive produce and co-finance "White Bird." The original graphic novel is being adapted by writer Mark Bomback, with direction from Marc Forster. It is being produced by David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman (both of whom produced the original "Wonder"), and R.J. Palacio.

Who is in the cast for White Bird: A Wonder Story?

"White Bird: A Wonder Story" focuses on Auggie's one-time bully, Julian Albans, whose role is reprised by Bryce Gheisar (via Deadline). The film takes place after Julian's parents withdraw him from Beecher Prep, and begins when his French grandmother, whom his family calls Grandmère, comes to visit. Grandmère is played by Oscar-winner Helen Mirren.

An additional starring performance comes from Gillian Anderson as Vivienne. Other cast members include Olivia Ross as Rose and Orlando Schwerdt as Julien, not to be confused with the main Julian. Aside from Grandmère, it's uncertain what parts the other characters have to play in "White Bird." Much of the film focuses on Grandmère's life during World War II, leaving the exact roles of each of these characters uncertain without delving deeply into the story itself. Unfortunately, we do not yet know enough about the narrative to speculate.

What is the plot of White Bird: A Wonder Story?

In the original "Wonder" film, bully Julian Albans left Beecher Prep when its faculty discovered that both he and his family were involved in bullying Auggie for his appearance. Though Julian sees the errors of his ways by the end of the film, he is still pulled from the school the following year. Things begin looking up for Julian, however, when he is visited by his Grandmère, who shares a story from her past in "White Bird: A Wonder Story" (via Deadline).

As a young Jewish girl caught in the midst of World War II, Julian's grandmother faced challenges that few could ever imagine. She survived, however, thanks to the efforts of a schoolmate of her own. Like Julian and Auggie, Grandmère could not be more different than her classmate; yet the latter's willingness to help Julian's grandmother formed the basis of a compassionate and close friendship. For obvious reasons, it's clear how and why this story bears an important lesson for Julian. What he does with that lesson, however, remains to be seen.