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Wonder (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byStephen Chbosky
Screenplay by
Based onWonder
by R. J. Palacio
Produced by
CinematographyDon Burgess
Edited byMark Livolsi
Music byMarcelo Zarvos
Distributed byLionsgate
Release dates
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$315 million[3]

Wonder is a 2017 American coming-of-age family drama film directed by Stephen Chbosky, who co-wrote the screenplay with Steven Conrad and Jack Thorne. It is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R. J. Palacio and stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Mandy Patinkin, and Daveed Diggs.

The film follows a boy named August "Auggie" Pullman with Treacher Collins syndrome as he tries to fit in. The film was released in the United States on November 17, 2017, by Lionsgate. It received positive reviews from critics and audiences, with many praising Tremblay and Roberts' performances, Chbosky's direction, writing, musical score and faithfulness to Palacio's novel of the same name; the film was a box office success, grossing $315 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. At the 90th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. A spin-off and prequel film, White Bird, will release in October 2024, with Bryce Gheisar reprising his role.



August "Auggie" Pullman is a 10-year old boy living in Brooklyn with his parents, Isabel and Nate, older sister, Via, and their dog, Daisy. Auggie was born with a rare medical facial deformity, mandibulofacial dysostosis.

He has been homeschooled by Isabel, but as he approaches fifth grade, his parents enroll him at Beecher Prep, a private middle school. When the school year begins, Auggie is ostracized, but he soon forms a close friendship with a classmate, Jack Will.

For Halloween, Auggie dresses as Ghostface from the previous year when Daisy ruins his planned Boba Fett costume. As he enters his homeroom, he overhears Jack, who does not recognize him, joining Julian, the class bully, and his friends, Amos, Miles, and Henry, in making fun of him behind his back. Auggie feigns sick, forcing his mother to abandon her mother-daughter day with Via to pick him up. Though she is hurt, Via convinces Auggie to go trick-or-treating with her, as she has been rejected by her own best friend, Miranda Navas. Afterwards, Auggie begins avoiding Jack.

Auggie forms a new friendship with another classmate, Summer Dawson, confiding in her about his split with Jack. When Jack asks Summer why Auggie is avoiding him, she says "Ghostface". Jack realizes his mistake and resolves to make it up to Auggie by being his partner for the science fair instead of partnering with Julian and Amos. When Julian confronts Jack about it and calls Auggie a freak, they get into a fight. Outraged, Julian ends his friendship with Jack. Jack is suspended for two days, and the principal, Mr. Lawrence Tushman, reads Jack's letter about defending Auggie. Jack then apologizes to Auggie via Minecraft, and they reconcile.

Meanwhile, Via has been feeling left out as her parents spend more time looking after Auggie than her, and her best friend, Miranda, has been ignoring her since the summer. Via signs up for the drama club after meeting Justin, with whom she begins a romantic relationship. She is selected as Miranda's understudy for the lead role in the school's production of Our Town, but on opening night, learning that Via's family is in attendance while her own is not, Miranda feigns illness to let Via take her place. Via gives a moving performance, earning a standing ovation, and reconciles with Miranda.

Auggie's popularity and circle of friends grow, but Julian and his friends continue to bully him. Mr. Tushman confronts Julian and his parents with evidence, including hate notes and a class picture with Auggie photoshopped out. Julian's mother admits she deleted Auggie from the picture, defends Julian's actions, and insists that students should not be exposed to Auggie. Despite her threats to pull funding, Julian is suspended for two days, forcing him to miss an upcoming nature retreat. As they leave, his mother declares that Julian will not be back in the fall. However, Julian apologizes to Mr. Tushman, and the latter forgives him.

At the nature retreat, Auggie and Jack are threatened by a trio of seventh graders from another school, but Amos, Miles, and Henry defend them. At the graduation ceremony, Auggie thanks Isabel for enrolling him in school and is given the Henry Ward Beecher Medal for his strength and courage throughout the school year.







On November 27, 2012, it was announced that Lionsgate was developing a feature film adaptation of R. J. Palacio's debut novel Wonder, and were in talks with John August to write the screenplay.[4] Mandeville Films' David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman produced the film.[4]

On May 8, 2013, Jack Thorne was hired to adapt the novel after August had departed from the project.[5] In October 2014, John Krokidas was reported to be directing the film,[6] though in April 2015, Paul King was hired to direct instead. Steven Conrad was writing the script at that time.[7]



On April 14, 2016, Jacob Tremblay was cast to play the lead role, Auggie Pullman, while Julia Roberts was in talks to play Auggie's mother.[8] On May 5, 2016, Roberts' casting was confirmed, and Stephen Chbosky was set as the film's director.[9]

On June 27, 2016, Owen Wilson joined to play Auggie's father.[10] On July 11, 2016, newcomer Noah Jupe joined the cast as Auggie's best friend at school,[11] and on July 15, 2016, Daveed Diggs was cast as Mr. Browne, an English teacher at the school.[12]

On August 19, 2016, Sônia Braga joined the cast, portraying the role of Roberts's character's mother.[13]

Special effects


Tremblay's prosthetic makeup, designed and created by Arjen Tuiten, took an hour and a half to apply. It consisted of a skull cap with prosthetic ears attached, a facial prosthetic that covered Tremblay's face, and a wig to tie it all together.[14]



Filming took place in several locations in British Columbia, Canada, and Coney Island, New York, from October 18 to December 13, 2016.



Marcelo Zarvos composed the film's score.[15] Bea Miller composed a song for the film, "Brand New Eyes". It was released on August 3, 2017. Wonder author R. J. Palacio has often credited Natalie Merchant's song "Wonder", from her 1995 album Tigerlily, as the inspiration for her best-selling book. At Merchant's invitation, the song was featured on the soundtrack. The song is played during the film's end credits.[16]



Lionsgate had initially scheduled Wonder to be released in the United States on April 7, 2017.[17][18] On February 13, 2017, it was announced that the release date had been pushed back to November 17, 2017.[19] Wonder had its world premiere at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on November 14, 2017.[20]



Box office


Wonder grossed $132 million in the United States and Canada, and $182 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $315 million, against a production budget of $20 million.[3] Deadline Hollywood calculated the film made a net profit of $55.3 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.[21]

In the United States and Canada, Wonder opened alongside Justice League, The Star, and Roman J. Israel, Esq. and was initially projected to gross around $9 million from 3,096 theaters in its first weekend.[22] However, after grossing $740,000 from Thursday night previews and receiving a large number of group ticket sales, weekend projections were upped to $15 million.[23] Weekend projections were again increased, this time to $28 million, after the film made $9.4 million on its first day. The film went on to debut to $27.5 million,[24] finishing second at the box office, behind Justice League.[25] In its second weekend, the film dropped just 17.7%, grossing $22.7 million and finishing third at the box office.[26]

Critical response


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 85% based on 192 reviews, and an average rating of 7.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Wonder doesn't shy away from its bestselling source material's sentiment, but this well-acted and overall winsome drama earns its tugs at the heartstrings."[27] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[28] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A+" on an A+ to F scale, one of approximately 100 films in the history of the service to receive the grade.[25]

Some reviewers criticized the decision to cast an actor without the same condition as Auggie as undermining the film's message.[29][30] In August 2021, during Edinburgh TV Festival's MacTaggart Lecture, co-writer Jack Thorne, while not specifically citing Wonder, acknowledged that he had failed to stand up for disabled talent on projects involving the subject, and sought to rectify this through pushing for new disability initiatives like 'Underlying Health Condition', which launched in December 2021.[31]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result Ref.
AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards February 5, 2018 Best Intergenerational Film Wonder Nominated [32]
Readers' Choice Poll Wonder Nominated
Academy Awards March 4, 2018 Best Makeup and Hairstyling Arjen Tuiten Nominated [33]
British Academy Film Awards February 18, 2018 Best Makeup and Hair Naomi Bakstad, Robert Pandini and Arjen Tuiten Nominated [34]
Casting Society of America January 18, 2018 Big Budget – Comedy Deborah Aquila, Kara Eide, Tricia Wood and Kris Woz Nominated [35]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards January 11, 2018 Best Young Actor/Actress Jacob Tremblay Nominated [36]
Best Adapted Screenplay Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad and Stephen Chbosky Nominated
Best Hair & Makeup Wonder Nominated
Heartland Film Festival December 31, 2017 Truly Moving Picture Award Stephen Chbosky Won [37]
Hochi Film Award December 18, 2018 Best International Picture Stephen Chbosky Won [38]
London Film Critics Circle January 28, 2018 Young British/Irish Performer of the Year Noah Jupe Nominated [39]
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild February 24, 2018 Feature Motion Picture: Best Contemporary Makeup Naomi Bakstad, Jean Black and Megan Harkness Nominated [40]
Feature Motion Picture: Best Contemporary Hair Styling Robert Pandini and Alisa Macmillan Nominated
Feature Motion Picture: Best Special Makeup Effects Michael Nickiforek and Arjen Tuiten Nominated
Feature Motion Picture: Best Contemporary Hair Styling Robert Pandini and Alisa Macmillan Nominated
Feature Motion Picture: Best Special Makeup Effects Michael Nickiforek and Arjen Tuiten Nominated
Saturn Awards June 27, 2018 Best Performance by a Younger Actor Jacob Tremblay Nominated [41]
Best Make-up Arjen Tuiten Nominated
Best Independent Film Wonder Won
Seattle Film Critics Society December 18, 2017 Best Youth Performance Jacob Tremblay Nominated [42]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association December 8, 2017 Best Youth Performance Jacob Tremblay Nominated [43]
Women Film Critics Circle December 17, 2017 Best Family Film Wonder Nominated [44]
Teen Choice Awards August 12, 2018 Choice Drama Wonder Nominated [46]
Choice Drama Actor Jacob Tremblay Nominated
Choice Drama Actress Julia Roberts Nominated



Sequel/prequel film


White Bird: A Wonder Story, a spin-off sequel/prequel war drama film to Wonder based on R. J. Palacio's graphic novel of the same name, starring Gillian Anderson and Helen Mirren, with Bryce Gheisar reprising his role as Julian Albans, began production in February 2021 in the Czech Republic.[47] Described as a "companion piece" to the original film,[48] the film follows Julian as his Parisian grandmother tells him stories of her childhood as a young Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, when she was hidden from the Nazis by a classmate and his family. Initially scheduled to be released on September 16, 2022,[49] the film's release date was ultimately delayed to October 14, 2022[50] before the film was removed from the release schedule in September,[51] and actual sole delayed to August 2023 release.[52] However Lionsgate pushed the release to an unspecified date, in July 2023, as a result of the SAG-AFTRA strike, in the fourth quarter of 2023.[53] In December 2023, Lionsgate scheduled the film for release on October 4, 2024.[54]

Musical adaptation


It was announced on April 9, 2019 that a musical adaptation of the film is in the works for Broadway. Jill Furman (Hamilton) will produce, R. J. Palacio will adapt the novel for the stage production.[55]

See also



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  4. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (November 26, 2012). "Lionsgate lining up John August to adapt 'Wonder'". Variety. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 8, 2013). "Lionsgate Taps Jack Thorne To Adapt R.J. Palacio Novel 'Wonder'". Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Kit, Borys (October 7, 2014). "'Kill Your Darlings' Director to Helm YA Adaptation 'Wonder' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (April 23, 2015). "'Paddington' Director Books Lionsgate's YA Adaptation 'Wonder' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  8. ^ Geier, Thom (April 14, 2016). "'Room' Star Jacob Tremblay in Talks for Lionsgate's 'Wonder'". TheWrap. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys; Ford, Rebecca (May 5, 2016). "Julia Roberts to Play Jacob Tremblay's Mother in 'Wonder'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 27, 2016). "Owen Wilson to Co-Star With Julia Roberts in 'Wonder' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
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  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 26, 2017). "Thanksgiving B.O. At $268M, +3% Over 2016 Spurred By 'Coco' & Holdovers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
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  29. ^ Henley, Ariel (9 August 2017). "What "Wonder" Gets Wrong About Disfigurement and Craniofacial Disorders". TeenVogue. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  30. ^ Barack, Lauren. "Critics Question the Representation of Disability in 'Wonder'". School Library Journal. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  31. ^ MacTaggart Lecture: Jack Thorne | Edinburgh TV Festival 2021, 23 August 2021, retrieved 2021-09-02
  32. ^ Lee, Ashley (January 17, 2018). "AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards: 'The Post' Leads Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
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  38. ^ "作品賞・海外部門「ワンダー 君は太陽」配給のキノフィルムズ・武部由実子社長「今後も精進して参りたいと思います」…報知映画賞表彰式". Sports Hochi (in Japanese). December 19, 2018. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
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