In the latest episode of my new Deadline video series Behind The Lens, in which I explore the art and style of directors in one-on-one conversations, I talk to a relative newcomer to helming, Stephen Chbosky whose third feature film, Wonder, has turned into an out-of-the-b0x hit for Lionsgate since it opened in November, so far grossing well over $100 million domestically and going strong. Chbosky won strong acclaim for his 2012 film, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower which was based on his own 1999 novel set in his hometown of Pittsburgh.
As he discusses here, he held back on any offers for the movie rights unless he could not only write, but also direct the film version. It was an audacious move but it worked and he tells how he did it, as well as what key piece of advice he got from co-star and producer John Malkovich that has carried him to success today. We also talk about his initial inspiration to become a writer in the first place, as well as how he came to make Wonder, another successful book that he adapted to screen, but in this case didn’t write himself (the book is by R. J. Palacio). His screenplay has been nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award.
Listen to him talk about directing Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, working with kids, animals and makeup, and describing two scenes that simply didn’t work – that is until they did. In between his two directorial jobs, Chbosky also found time to co-write the script for what will end up as 2017’s second biggest grossing box office hit of the year, Beauty And The Beast. Busy guy. He also teases his next project.
To watch our conversation just click on the link above.