Go Behind The Scenes of Marcelo Zarvos' Score for Julia Roberts' New Film 'Wonder': Exclusive

Dale Robinette/Lionsgate
Julia Roberts as “Isabel” and Jacob Tremblay as “Auggie” in WONDER.

"You really feel this movie and I think the world needs something to feel."

Wonder, which opened Friday (Nov. 17) and stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay, is based on R.J. Palacio’s best-selling book of the same name. In the Lionsgate film, Tremblay plays Auggie Pullman, a fifth-grader with Treacher Collins syndrome, which leads to misshapen facial features. The young Pullman becomes an anti-bullying hero.

The film’s lilting score by Marcelo Zarvos (Fences, Brooklyn’s Finest) underscores the magic and childhood wonder in Pullman’s life. 

As he explains in this behind-the-scenes feature, director Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) was a fan of Zarvos, even though he didn’t know it. 

“Time and again, I was like, 'Who’s that? That was amazing.' 'Marcelo Zarvos.' We temped basically to him which made writing the score much harder for him because it was like, 'OK, Marcelo, I love your music, beat your music.' But luckily he was able to do it."


“I realized [Stephen] wanted each of these cues to be a real little story in and of itself, the Emmy-nominated Zarvos says of his charming score.

Alexandra Patsavas served as the music supervisor, bringing in such songs as Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (not included on Milan’s soundtrack, also out Friday), The White Stripes’ “We’re Going to be Friends,” Natalie Merchant’s “Wonder” and a new track, “Darker,” from Hannah Faye, who acts in the film. 

“The director really sets the tone for how a project feels and Steven always chooses kind,” Patsavas says. “You really feel this movie and I think the world needs something to feel.”