See Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson in the trailer for inspirational drama White Bird: A Wonder Story


Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson star in upcoming coming-of-age film White Bird: A Wonderful Story — and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the trailer in motion.

The drama is based on the bestseller of the same name by Wonder author RJ Palacio, which was adapted into a 2017 film starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, and sparked a movement to “choose the genre”.

white bird, the next inspiring chapter, follows Julian (Bryce Gheisar), who has struggled to belong since being kicked out of his old school for his Auggie Pullman treatment. To help transform Julian’s life, the boy’s grandmother (Helen Mirren) tells him her own story of courage – as a child (Ariella Glaser) in Nazi-occupied France, a boy (Orlando Schwerdt) protected her of danger.

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Helen Mirren as Grandmother in White Bird: A Wonder Story. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lionsgate

Lions Gate

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Anderson plays the boy’s mother who risks everything to keep the teenage girl safe. As Wonderthe film tells how an act of kindness can last forever.

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DirectorMarc Forster (Finding Neverland) tells PEOPLE that he was “instantly drawn to this story about the power of hope and friendship in the midst of conflict, themes that I felt audiences could experience together in such a meaningful way.”

“I read white bird during the first phase of the pandemic when the world was going through a very isolating (and divisive) time,” he explains.

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Forster says he “hopes audiences will leave the theater with a better understanding of how a single act of kindness – no matter how big or small, can change the course of a person’s life.” .

And of working with the young actors of the film, the director declares: “Orlando Schwerdt and Ariella Glaser are extraordinarily talented, they have always impressed and surprised me on the set. They all have a bright future ahead of them.”

White Bird: A Wonderful Storywith a screenplay by Mark Bomback, hits theaters October 14.


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