Casting News: Helen Mirren to Play French Grandmère in 'White Bird: A Wonder Story'

We can look for Dame Helen Mirren in a new role, playing a French woman in White Bird: A Wonder Story, reports Deadline. 

White Bird is based on R.J. Palacio's 2019 graphic novel, which revolves around an 11-year-old boy named Julian (Bryce Gheisar), who is deemed a bully. According to the description, Julian is leaving his preparatory school in NYC. His behavior is so mean, that he alienates himself to the point that he no longer feels like he belongs.

Mirren is set to play his grandmother, who goes by Grandmère. She travels from Paris to visit the young boy in the U.S. There, she tells him her story of growing up in Nazi-occupied France during WWII.

Prior to the invasion, Mirren's character lived a fair-tale life as a little girl. But, she wasn't so nice to one of her classmates. When she finds herself being persecuted for being Jewish, the same classmate she once shunned helps hide her from the soldiers.

In the graphic novel, Grandmère says to Julian, "It always takes courage to be kind, but in those days, such kindness could cost you everything."

The film will take us back to WWII, with Ariella Glaser (Radioactive) portraying Grandmère as a child.

White Bird is a spinoff of Palacio's Wonder, where Julian first comes up, bullying a young boy named Auggie, who has Treacher Collins syndrome. It affects the growth of bones and tissue in his face, making him look different than the other kids in his class. Wonder was made into a feature film in 2017, starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay.

Here's a peek at the trailer, if you didn't see it the first time around:

We first saw Bryce Gheisar portray Julian here, and he'll now reprise the role for White Bird. We can also look for Gillian Anderson (The Crown) as Julian's mother in the follow-up movie.

Director Mark Forster (Christopher Robin) shared his excitement about Mirren signing on for White Bird, saying in a statement, "I am deeply honored to have Helen Mirren join us on this journey. Beyond being a brilliant actress, Helen brings an immeasurable level of depth, humanity, and empathy to her roles, elevating any project she is a part of. She is a true artist and I couldn’t be more excited to have her alongside our incredibly talented cast."

He clearly knows his stuff...

Are you keen to see Helen Mirren play French?