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Even though the horizon of cinema’s future is dotted with highly fantastical young adult novel adaptations like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Maze Runner, there is more than enough room in film for children who don’t spend their novelized lives within dystopian worlds sharing space with mythological creatures. If Judy Blume can finally get the Tiger Eyes adaptation she’d been waiting for, then let’s open the floodgates for more humanized YA fare.
Deadline reports Lionsgate is doing just that by hiring English screenwriter Jack Thorne to adapt the critically adored Wonder, the heart-unraveling debut from author Raquel Jaramillo, under the pseudonym R.J. Palacio. Though the only produced script Thorne has written was 2009’s The Scouting Book for Boys, he’s been all over British television, writing several episodes of the teen drama Skins and the apocalyptic horror The Fades. He also created the mockumentary reality series Cast Offs.
While it doesn’t seem like this kind of an inspirational tale is in Thorne’s wheelhouse, he wrote the upcoming war drama How I Live Now as well as the new Nick Hornby adaptation A Long Way Down. He’s also set to adapt the family adventure The Magic Hat of Mortimer Wintergreen. It helps to have a diverse writing range.
The Mandeville Films production will tell the story of Auggie Pullman, a 10-year-old with a facial deformity that has kept him away from attending public school until he enters the fifth grade. And while the results are to be expected in the beginning, Auggie proves to everyone that beauty isn’t limited to the eye of the beholder. And he proves it with laughs as much as anything else.
As weird as it sounds, this will hopefully resemble David Lynch's The Elephant Man much more than Victor Salva's Powder. Hopefully a “wonder”-ful director gets the gig.