Prague-shot ‘White Bird: A Wonder Story’, starring Gillian Anderson, gets debut trailer

White Bird: A Wonder Story, which shot in the Czech Republic over the first few months of 2021, has received its first official trailer ahead of a scheduled US release date of October 14, 2022. Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson star in the new drama, which is a spinoff of 2017’s Wonder.

While the original film starring Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts was set in modern-day New York, most of White Bird takes place in WWII-era France, with Prague and surrounding locations filling in for the period locales.

White Bird: A Wonder Story follows Julian Albans (played by Bryce Gheisar, the lone returning member of Wonder’s cast), an adversary of the earlier film’s protagonist played by Jacob Tremblay. After being expelled from school, Julian’s grandmother (played by Mirren) tells him a story from her childhood during the Second World War.

In occupied France, Mirren’s character Sarah (played as a teenager by Ariella Glaser) hides from Nazi persecution with the help of a young boy (Orlando Schwerdt). The young pair find love in a world of their own creation as the boy’s mother (played by Anderson) risks everything to keep them safe.

Marc Forster (World War Z, Quantum of Solace) directed White Bird: A Wonder Story from a screenplay by Mark Bomback, adapted from the graphic novel by Wonder author R.J. Palacio.

White Bird: A Wonder Story was filmed in Prague’s Barrandov Studio, with location work also taking place on the streets of the city. Portions of the film were also shot in the village of Kněževes in Prague-West.

The production also made use of locations across the Czech Republic, including Kutná Hora, Grabštejn Castle outside of Liberec, the Brdy forests southwest of Prague, and other rural locations in Kolešov, Štampach, Svatý Jan pod Skalou, and Hýskov.

While in Prague, star Gillian Anderson won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Crown. Due to Covid protocols, she was broadcast into the ceremony live from Prague thanks to assistance from local professionals.

“I’d been wanting to come back to Prague for some time, having only visited briefly once before,” Anderson told the Czech Film Commission during the filming of White Bird: A Wonder Story.

“To be honest, I would have seen more of the city if there weren’t paparazzi outside the hotel every day. But perhaps if I come again it will be anonymously and I’ll have more of a chance to walk around your beautiful city.”

White Bird: A Wonder Story is slated to be released in US cinemas on October 14, 2022, with a release in Czech cinemas currently scheduled for November 3.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at

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