RJ Palacio’s ‘Wonder’ That Inspired a Julia Roberts Movie Now in Works as Stage Musical

Lionsgate film starring Jacob Tremblay adapted from R.J. Palacio’s YA novel

Last Updated: April 9, 2019 @ 10:55 AM

“Wonder,” the children’s book by R.J. Palacio that was adapted into a 2017 movie starring Julia Roberts, is headed to Broadway as a new musical, Lionsgate along with Palacio and producer Jill Furman announced Tuesday.

Furman, the Tony-winning producer behind “In the Heights,” is taking the lead on the new musical that will bring the story of Auggie, the boy with facial differences who just wants to blend in, to the stage.

Stephen Chbosky adapted Palacio’s book for the 2017 film “Wonder,” which starred Roberts, Jacob Tremblay and Owen Wilson. The movie grossed $300 million worldwide and the book has sold 16 million copies.

“I am beyond happy and grateful that Wonder is being adapted for theatre by this incredible team,” Palacio said in a statement. “What I’ve always loved the most about musical theatre is its timelessness, its ability to resonate around the world and across generations. That ‘Wonder’ and its message of kindness is to become part of that canon for the ages is, quite literally, a dream come true.”

“RJ’s indelible characters leapt off the page, and I wept through the movie. I couldn’t help but feel there was a musicality to the characters’ voices and their story,” Furman said in a statement. “At a time when ‘otherness’ is under attack, ‘Wonder’ celebrates difference in a beautiful way that we should all admire and emulate.”

Lionsgate also recently announced that it’s bringing country TV series “Nashville” to Broadway as well.

Jill Furman Productions is currently represented by “Hamilton,” playing on Broadway and in London’s West End as well as touring the U.S. Furman received the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theatre Producing in 2011.

The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Brown, Eva Feder, Senior Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, and Stefan Schick at Loeb & Loeb LLP and for Jill Furman Productions, by Scott Lazarus of Lazarus & Harris.

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