As we first told you, Marc Forster is directing White Bird, which is currently in production. The screenplay adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s book 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. The film stars Golden Globe winner Gillian Anderson, Oscar winner Helen Mirren, Ariella Glaser, Orlando Schwerdt, and reprising his role from Wonder is Bryce Gheisar.
Participant was a co-financier and EP on Wonder as well. White Bird: A Wonder Story is being made in association with Forster’s production company 2DUX2; the filmmaker’s partner, Renée Wolfe, is also an EP. .
Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Robert Kessel are EPs on the companion feature. Alex Young serves as EP for Mandeville.
“Wonder is a shining example of what inspirational storytelling can achieve, and we are thrilled to partner again with our friends at Lionsgate and Mandeville Films, as well as RJ Palacio and Marc Forster. Compassion for each other is the first step in bridging divides and we look forward to continuing that legacy of kindness and understanding with White Bird: A Wonder Story,” said Participant CEO David Linde.
“Our collaboration on Wonder was unique and beneficial for both our companies. It was the perfect fit and an organic marriage of companies that was stronger than the sum of its parts and we are thrilled to be partnering with our friends at Participant once again on a remarkable film that celebrates the power of the connections between people,” said Nathan Kahane, President of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group.
In White Bird: A Wonder Story, Julian Albans, the bully who left Beecher Prep, is visited by his Grandmère from Paris and is transformed by her remarkable story of compassion and courage. As a girl in Nazi-occupied France, the young Grandmère goes into hiding with the help of a schoolmate, a young man who risks everything to give her the chance to survive. Together, they find beauty and love in the secret world of their own creation.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Participant by Jeannine Tang, General Counsel. John Biondo negotiated the deal for Lionsgate.