'Impossible' Director to Adapt Children's Fantasy Novel 'A Monster Calls'

A Monster Calls Book Cover Patrick Ness - P 2014
<p>A Monster Calls Book Cover Patrick Ness - P 2014</p>
River Road Entertainment, Participant Media, Lionsgate International and Focus Features are teaming up to finance and distribute the film.

Juan Antonio Bayona, the acclaimed Spanish director of the tsunami drama The Impossible, has landed financing and distribution for his next project.

In a configuration that includes River Road Entertainment, Participant Media, Lionsgate International and Focus Features, Bayona now has the resources to adapt A Monster Calls, based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel by Patrick Ness.

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It will be distributed by Focus domestically, Universal Pictures International for its theatrical and home entertainment release in Spain, and Lionsgate International throughout the rest of the world

A fall 2016 release is being planned, according to the companies who made the announcement Wednesday.

A Monster Calls is described by the companies as “a visually spectacular drama about a young boy who attempts to deal with his mother’s illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that deal with courage, loss and faith.”

Ness, who wrote the novel based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, is writing the script for the adaptation.

The book had illustrations by Jim Kay and won Britain’s Carnegie Medal and Greenaway Medal in 2012, which honors the best of children’s literature. 

“After The Orphanage and The Impossible, A Monster Calls is the perfect final chapter in a trilogy centered on the extraordinary strength of the mother-child bond,” said Bayona, who is repped by CAA.

Ness is repped by Michelle Kass of Michelle Kass Associates and by Howard Abramson of Behr Abramson