With Wonder opening in theaters this weekend, I recently got to speak with director Stephen Chbosky and novelist R.J. Palacio about their fantastic film. They talked about what they learned from test screenings, the way the book and the film tell the story from a few different points of view, what was it about the material that got Chbosky involved since he hasn’t made a film since 2012’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and more.
If you’re not familiar with Wonder, the film is based on Palacio’s novel of the same name and stars Jacob Tremblay as Auggie, a young boy born with facial differences that, until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school. As he enters the fifth grade, his parents, played by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, decide he should go to a public elementary school. As we follow Auggie adapting to his new situation, the film switches perspectives to include his sister, her boyfriend, Auggie’s fellow classmates and more. It’s an interesting way to tell the story and it absolutely works. I thought Chbosky did a great job helming this movie and loved the message of the film. Strongly recommended. Wonder also stars Izabela Vidovic, Daveed Diggs, and Mandy Patinkin.
Check out what Stephen Chbosky and R.J. Palacio had to say in the video above; below is exactly what we talked about, followed by the official synopsis.
Stephen Chbosky and R.J. Palacio:
- What was it about the material that got Stephen Chbosky involved?
- How the book and movie shows different perspectives. Where did the idea come from in the book and did they ever debate not doing it in the movie?
- What did they learn from friends and family screenings/text screenings that impacted the finished film?
Here’s the official synopsis for Wonder:
Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to find their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Lionsgate presents, in association with Walden Media and Participant Media, a Mandeville Films / Lionsgate production.