Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona has moved up to the big time with World War Z 2, earning enough Hollywood buzz to get approached for the upcoming Jurassic World sequel, as well. That comes from two incredibly successful efforts that couldn't be more different, the creepy horror The Orphanage and disaster drama The Impossible. His next film, A Monster Calls, is another change in course as it features Liam Neeson as a talking tree creature.
Neeson's booming, gravelly voice is perfect for when he's cracking skulls in Taken, but it's also surprisingly effective as the gentle monster at the center of this film. Also starring Felicity Jones, Lewis McDougall, and Toby Kebbell, the film is based on Patrick Ness' book which follows a young boy who retreats into a dark fantasy world to get away from his troubled reality. Those thinking this might be designed as one of Bayona's thrillers might want to think again, as clearly this is a film designed to tug at the heart strings. Here's the official synopsis:
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.
A Monster Calls opens October 14th 2016.