White Bird — release date, trailer and everything we know about the movie

Orlando Schwerdt and Ariella Glaser in White Bird: A Wonder Story
Orlando Schwerdt and Ariella Glaser in White Bird (Image credit: Larry Horricks/Lionsgate)

The Wonder series is continuing its message of kindness with White Bird, set to hit theaters in 2023. Like its predecessor, White Bird is based on a novel from R.J. Palacio.

Wonder was a hit when it was released in 2017. The movie scored an 85% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and drew in more than $300 million from the worldwide box office. The story of young Augie was about kindness and acceptance, a theme that is going to continue with this spiritual sequel.

Here is everything that we know about White Bird.

White Bird release date

White Bird: A Wonder Story was originally set for a fall 2022 release date, but was pulled from the calendar and moved to 2023. Now, it is set to arrive in movie theaters on August 25.

White Bird plot

Based on the graphic novel White Bird from R.J. Palacio, the movie adaptation is being described as the next chapter in the "choose kind" movement that Wonder helped kickstart. Here is the official synopsis for the movie from Lionsgate studio:

"In White Bird: A Wonder Story, we follow Julian, who has struggled to belong ever since he was expelled from his former school for his treatment of Auggie Pullman. To transform his life, Julian’s grandmother finally reveals to Julian her own story of courage — during her youth in Nazi-occupied France, a boy shelters her from mortal danger. They find first love in a stunning, magical world of their own creation, while the boy’s mother risks everything to keep her safe."

The script is being written by Mark Bomback, who has previously written Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Art of Racing in the Rain and the TV series Defending Jacob.

White Bird cast

Bryce Gheisar returns to the role of Julian after playing the character in 2017’s Wonder. He is joined in the present day storyline with Oscar-winner Helen Mirren, who plays his grandmother.

The majority of the story takes place during World War II, with Ariella Glaser playing Sara, the younger version of Mirren’s character, and Orlando Schwerdt as Julien. This is only the second credit for Glaser, per IMDb, with her lone other credit being in the 2019 movie Radioactive. Schwerdt is also a relative newcomer, with only a handful of credits prior to White Bird, most notably in The True History of the Kelly Gang.

The veteran among the young actors is Gillian Anderson, who is playing Julien’s mother, Vivienne. Anderson is a fan-favorite for her work on The X-Files, but she has been lauded by many critics in recent years for her performances as influential political figures, including Margaret Thatcher in The Crown and Eleanor Roosevelt in The First Lady.

White Bird trailer

With its new release date, a new White Bird trailer has been released. Watch it (and the previously released trailer) directly below.

White Bird director

Veteran director Marc Forster is behind White Bird. Forster has directed a handful of movies that have tugged at the heartstrings like White Bird hopes to do, including Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner and Christopher Robin. Some of his other credits include Monster’s Ball, Stranger Than Fiction, Quantum of Solace and World War Z

White Bird photos

How to watch Wonder

If you want to catch up with the original movie Wonder is available to rent through digital on-demand. 

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.