Lionsgate announced that they have entered final negotiations to aquire the film rights to R.J. Palacio’s bestselling debut novel “Wonder” and has entered talks with “Frankenweenie” scribe John August to adapt the pre-teen tale, which David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing for Mandeville Films.
Wonder follows a 10-year-old boy named Auggie whose facial deformity prevented him from attending a mainstream school. Starting fifth grade at a new school, he struggles to convince his new classmates that, despite appearances, he’s just like them. Story explores the theme of bullying and is told from multiple points of view.
The novel has done extremely well since it’s release. It has sold more than 15,000 copies worldwide between print and ebooks and spent 32 weeks on the New York Times’ bestseller list since its publication in February. It has been long-listed for the Carnegie Medal and the UKLA Book Award, two of the most prestigious and well-known children’s book awards in the U.K.
Lionsgate is currently working on several other major adaptation such as the adaptation of Patrick Ness’ dystopian sci-fi tale “Chaos Walking” and the last two “Hunger Games” pics based on Suzanne Collins’ “Mockingjay.”
Mandelville also has a few high profile adaptation readying for release such as developing “Swiss Family Robinson” and “Jungle Cruise” for Disney and Summit’s zombie romancer “Warm Bodies” and Relativity Media’s comedy “21 and Over.”
August previously worked with Tim Burton on writing “Big Fish,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Corpse Bride” and “Frankenweenie. He also aided in the adaptation of “Dark Shadows,” to film. He recently adapted the Monsterpocalypse strategy game for a DreamWorks film and Garth Ennis’ comicbook “Preacher” for Sony.
While the deal has yet to be closed, it appears to be lining up to be final in the next few weeks.
You can watch the book trailer below: