Every novel adaptation comes with its own specific challenges. After all, books and film are two completely different mediums with very different benefits and restraints, and those factors are key in the way that a story is ultimately told. Stephen Chbosky's Wonder is a perfect example, just given that the way we look at protagonist Auggie Pullman changes our perspective on the narrative -- and the director recently explained to me why that specifically was the hardest challenge in making the movie:
Paired together, Stephen Chbosky and author R.J. Palacio both participated in the Wonder international press day in London, England earlier this month, and I had the immense pleasure of getting to sit down with them and discuss the movie. One of my questions was in regard to the challenges of turning the story of Wonder from a novel to a film, and Chbosky explained why getting the makeup right, and the casting perfect was ultimately paramount for the drama.
Adapted from R.J. Palacio's book by Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad and Jack Thorne, Wonder tells the story of Auggie Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a young boy who was born with a medical facial deformity, causing him to look very different than most kids his age. While he has a pair of loving parents (Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson), and a loving sister (Izabela Vidovic), his world is thrown for a complete loop when he's told that he'll be completing fifth grade in public school. As you would imagine, being able to actually see Auggie's face has a specific effect on how the story is told and absorbed, making Chobsky's challenges understandable.
As for R.J. Palacio, watching Wonder get turned into a film wasn't exactly a walk in the park either. Instead, there was an important process involving removing herself from the machine and letting the filmmakers do their work. Fortunately, at the end of the day she was thrilled with what Stephen Chbosky and company had made:
You can watch the author and the writer/director discuss their work on Wonder and the challenge of the adaptation by clicking play on the video below.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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