Lionsgate has acquired the rights to author R.J. Palacio’s bestseller, Wonder, and is setting up screenwriter John August (Frankenweenie) to pen the adaptation. The pre-teen story, which has been on the New York Times’ bestseller list since it debuted in February, centers on a 10-year-old boy with a facial deformity who attempts to fit in at school. Told from multiple points of view, Wonder explores the themes of bullying, empathy, kindness and, ultimately, acceptance. August has yet to close the deal on adapting Wonder, which will be produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films. Hit the jump for more.
Variety reported that August is in talks to adapt Wonder for Lionsgate. The studio’s recent deal-making for young-adult film adaptations include Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) to adapt the dystopian tome, Chaos Walking, from Patrick Ness, and Emmy-winner Danny Strong (Game Change) for both Mockingjay films from Suzanne Collins’ bestselling Hunger Games series. August’s recent works include story work on Dark Shadows and the screenplay for Frankenweenie.
Here’s the book description of Wonder (via Amazon):
I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.