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Julia Roberts Drama ‘Wonder’ Moves to November (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 2/13/2017 Brent Lang
© Provided by Variety

Julia Roberts fans will need to wait a few more months to see the “Pretty Woman” star back on the big screen. “Wonder,” an upcoming drama about a boy with facial differences that features Roberts as his fiercely supportive mother, will hit theaters just in time for Thanksgiving. Lionsgate, the studio behind the film, has moved its debut from April 7, 2017, to Nov. 17, 2017, Variety has learned.

The decision was made after “Wonder” had a strong reaction from test screening audiences, particularly those with families. Lionsgate believes the new date will be more commercially viable. In its former perch, “Wonder” would have faced off against “Going in Style,” a comedy with Alan Arkin and Morgan Freeman; “The Case for Christ,” a faith-based drama; and “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” which features a vocal turn by Roberts as Smurfwillow. Now, “Wonder” will debut on the same weekend as “Justice League,” the super-team movie that brings together Batman, Aquaman, the Flash, Wonder Woman, and Superman. The next week is the Thanksgiving holiday, which is traditionally one of the busiest periods for movie-going.

“Wonder” is adapted from the best-selling book by R.J. Palacio. It centers on August Pullman, played by “Room” breakout actor Jacob Tremblay, who faces bullying from his classmates after he starts attending a new school. The cast includes Owen Wilson, Mandy Patinkin, and Daveed Diggs, the Tony-winning star of “Hamilton.” It is directed by Stephen Chbosky, who wrote and directed “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” to much acclaim. He co-wrote the screenplay with Jack Thorne and Steven Conrad.

Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman produced the film through their Mandeville Films banner. Lionsgate made the film in association with Walden Media and Participant Media. Lionsgate has had a strong run at the box office in recent months, backing the Oscar-nominated “La La Land” and the action hit “John Wick: Chapter 2.”

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