'White Bird: A Wonder Story': Gillian Anderson to Star in "Creative Companion" to 2017 Film 'Wonder'

Gillian Anderson is joining the Wonder Cinematic Universe.

The former X-Files star has been cast as a lead of the forthcoming White Bird: A Wonder Story, which is not quite a sequel but meant to be a “creative companion” to the 2017 film Wonder. That movie, which was directed by Stephen Chbosky, was made for around $20 million and ended up quietly raking in more than $305 million worldwide, so I suppose it shouldn’t be too shocking that a studio is looking to go back to the well – albeit with a totally different setting.

Deadline reports that Gillian Anderson (The Crown, The Fall, American Gods, Hannibal) will star in White Bird: A Wonder Story, which will be directed by Quantum of Solace and World War Z helmer Marc Forster. An earlier report indicated that White Bird: A Wonder Story would bring back Julian Albans, a bully character played by Bryce Gheisar in the 2017 film. It’s unclear if Gheisar will reprise the role, but it sounds like that will be a small part anyway: the main thrust of the story, which is based on Wonder author R.J. Palacio‘s graphic novel, flashes back and tells the story of Julian’s grandmother during World War II.

The film charts the story of a young Jewish girl hidden away by a boy and his family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Anderson will play Vivienne, the woman who along with her family must make unimaginable choices.

Forster will direct the film for Lionsgate, and the screenplay is written by Mark Bomback (War For The Planet of the Apes, The Wolverine, Defending Jacob). David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, who produced Wonder, are also producing the new spin-off movie for Mandeville Films, and they’ll do so alongside Palacio. Alex Young, also from Mandeville, will executive produce with Renée Wolfe, who is a partner in Forster’s 2DUX2 company.

Anderson is coming off Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for playing British prime minister Margaret Thatcher on Netflix’s streaming hit The Crown, and currently stars on Netflix’s Sex Education, in which she plays a sex therapist and mother of the show’s protagonist. Recently, she’s appeared in movies like UFO, The Sunlit Night, and The Spy Who Dumped Me.

Production on this “creative companion” to Wonder begins later this month in the Czech Republic. But my question is: will the people who drove Wonder to its surprisingly high box office totals A) remember that they even saw Wonder in the first place, and B) care enough about this spin-off to watch it?

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