After a string of action-packed hits, Liam Neeson is entering the fantasy realm by providing the voice of a massive creature in Focus Features' A Monster Calls. The studio has released the first trailer for this adaptation of Patrick Ness' beloved novel, which doesn't give us a great look at this title character, but we do get to hear Liam Neeson providing the voice. The studio has also released the first photo, featuring Lewis MacDougall as young Conor.
A Monster Calls is a visually spectacular drama from acclaimed director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible), 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. The cast also includes Academy Award nominees Liam Neeson, who will star in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting monster of the title.
The supporting cast inclues Sigourney Weaver, who will portray Conor's maternal grandmother, Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), as Conor's father and Geraldine Chaplin who is making her third movie with Mr. Bayona. Juan Antonio Bayona directs from a script by author Patrick Ness, who adapted his own novel, which is based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd. Published in almost 30 languages, the novel has won many prestigious prizes worldwide, including the distinguished Carnegie Medal and, for illustrator Jim Kay, the Kate Greenaway Medal.
Belén Atienza is producing, marking her third collaboaration with Bayona, following The Impossible and his directorial debut, The Orphanage. Executive producers include Participant's Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King, along with River Road's Bill Pohlad and Mitch Horwits. Production on A Monster Calls got under way last September, with principal photography taking place in Spain and England.
A Monster Calls is set for release on October 14, 2016, which puts it up against Sony Pictures' Inferno, the third Robert Langdon adventure starring Tom Hanks, and Universal's stand up comedy concert film Kevin Hart: What Now? Coincidentally, Felicity Jones also stars in Inferno, meaning she will have two of her projects in direct competition with one another on the same weekend. While we wait for more details on A Monster Calls, take a look at the first trailer and photo.