Having made his feature length directorial debut in 2013 with the Daniel Radcliffe-starring Kill Your Darlings, John Krokidas will now tackle Lionsgate’s Young Adult fiction adaptation of the award-winning book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. The novel, which took the top slot of the New York Times bestseller list on publication, won both a Maine Student Book Award and Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award, as well as featuring on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list. It is hardly surprising, then, that Hollywood would snap it up.
Wonder tells the story of 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, who has a rare facial malformation caused by mandibulofacial dysostosis. Having been previously home-schooled by his mother, Auggie finds himself heading into fifth grade at Beecher Pre, and must try to fit in and make friends. He meets prejudice and bullying from many quarters – but also makes firm and long-lasting connections with his fellow students.
The source novel has been adapted by Jack Thorne (A Long Way Down) and will represent something of a gear-change for director Krokidas. His festival-favourite debut, Kill Your Darlings, was a biographical romantic thriller centred around literary icons Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. Wonder, on the other hand, would seem to be rather more ‘family fare’ in nature. It joins a number of other projects on his slate, however, so it is currently unclear as to when this project will unfold before the cameras.
In terms of casting, Wonder certainly represents an incredible opportunity for an up-and-coming young actor in the central role of Auggie Pullman – in addition to the main student characters he interacts with – and it is perhaps that careful process that will determine how long we have to wait for this adaptation. If Kill Your Darlings is anything to go by, however, such patience should prove highly worthwhile.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter