added: Fri, Dec 2nd '16
The award-winning children's novel "A Monster Calls" has been turned into a movie, and a couple of new featurettes reveal the behind-the-scenes journey from page to screen.
Acclaimed fantasy writer Patrick Ness adapted the screenplay from his own 2011 novel. However, the original concept for "A Monster Calls" was conceived by renowned Irish author Siobhan Dowd, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2007 before she could even start the project, let alone finish.
Ness, who is currently writing, producing, and created the Dr. Who spin-off series "Class," wrote the script while working alongside Spanish-born director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible), who came up with a couple of inventive visual tricks (incorporating vivid drawing sequences) that would help bring the book to life.
"Bayona had a great idea. He thought, well, maybe (the main character) Conner draws," says Ness in above video. "And maybe that's how we see his emotional state (in the film)."
Starring newcomer Lewis MacDougall and Felicity Jones (Star Wars: Rogue One) and featuring the deep gravelly voice of Liam Neeson as the eponymous monster, "A Monster Calls" follows an unhappy boy, named Conner (MacDougall), who magically conjures up a gigantic tree monster (Neeson) when caring for his cancer-stricken mother (Jones) becomes too much for him to bear.
The film also stars Sigourney Weaver and Toby Kebbell, and it arrives in select theaters on December 23.
Based on the award-winning children's fantasy novel, 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith.
directed by Juan Antonio Bayona
starring Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Toby Kebbell, Geraldine Chaplin
release date December 23, 2016 (select theaters), January 2016 (expands)