Cannes: Liam Neeson Joins 'A Monster Calls'

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Liam Neeson

Acclaimed filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona is directing the adaptation of Patrick Ness' children's fantasy novel.

Liam Neeson is set to play the monster in A Monster Calls. He'll star opposite Felicity Jones in the high-profile movie, which Lionsgate International will shop to foreign buyers at the upcoming Cannes Film Market.

Acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) is directing the big-screen adaptation of Patrick Ness' award-winning children's fantasy novel, part of the Chaos Walking trilogy, for Focus, River Road Entertainment, Participant Media and Lionsgate International.

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

Focus Features is planning an aggressive nationwide release for A Monster Calls on Oct. 14, 2016.

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Belen Atienza (The Impossible, Pan's Labyrinth) is producing A Monster Calls, described as a "visually spectacular drama" about a young boy who attempts to deal with his mother's illness and bullying at the hands of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales.

Illustrated by Jim Kay, Ness' novel won the U.K.'s prestigious Carnegie Medal and Greenaway Medal in 2012.

Executive producers are River Road’s Bill Pohlad and Mitch Horwits, Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King, and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman Patrick Wachsberger.

Neeson is in theaters later this month in Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West. Other upcoming films include A Walk Among the Tombstones and Taken 3, which he's currently filming.

The actor is represented by CAA.