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A Monster Calls Movie: 2016 Release.

a_monster_calls_patrick_nessA few years ago I reviewed and raved about a remarkable book, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Well, having been ‘optioned’ by Hollywood quite some time ago, it seems that the film is pretty close to actually being made. It was announced earlier today that the award-winning director of The Orphanage and The Impossible, Juan Antonio Bayona, has been signed up and has a clear enough schedule that we could well see this movie hit theatres as early as 2016.

The award winning book tells the story of a young boy who struggles to deal with his mother’s diagnosis of terminal cancer. In addition, each night he is visited by a large monster that appears outside his room and refuses to leave until he acknowledges his presence and exchanges stories with him. It is a story that provides the reader with equal bouts of curiosity, emotional heartbreak and revelation.

One of the novel’s biggest successes is its incredible artwork by Jim Kay and the description of the movie by the studio, that it will be “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”, seems to suggest that there will be an attempt to carry this across into the film.

I’m sure that most will feel relieved over the fact that Patrick Ness, who wrote the novel based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, is writing the script for the adaptation himself.

Bayona has said of his appointment that:

“It is an incredible privilege to bring Patrick Ness’ exceptional book to the screen and I couldn’t have imagined better partners joining me in this endeavour. After The Orphanage and The Impossible, A Monster Calls is the perfect final chapter in a trilogy centred on the extraordinary strength of the mother-child bond.”

Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel added:

“Juan Antonio Bayona is a filmmaker whose storytelling skills and stunning visuals are truly distinctive. He captures emotional truths amidst fantastical and terrifying situations, making him the ideal director to bring this acclaimed novel to a wide audience. I am pleased to make this our first co-production as CEO of Focus Features.”

The book won a number of awards including Britain’s Carnegie Medal, a Kitschies award and the Greenaway Medal in 2012, which honours the best of children’s literature. We’re usually a little apprehensive when Hollywood picks up a book and looks to turn it into a movie – but, if they get the atmosphere, the dark visuals, the claustrophobic counting down of time and disturbing emotional roller-coster correct, this could be a truly powerful – potentially life changing – film that will stick with movie-goers for a long, long time.

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar Natalie says:

    This is one book I could never get in e-book form, as the illustrations fit so beautifully into the text it would be a shame to break it up. I believe this is the only book to win both Carnegie and Greenaway, quite a feat. I was a little worried upon reading the headline of this article, but with Ness himself involved hopefully they will do a good job of converting it, from the quotes it certainly sounds like they’re on the right track.

  2. Avatar Monster says:

    A very strong performance by a talented cast both by leading and supporting actors. The story flowed well throughout the movie. The visual effects were aligned perfectly to the concept of this movie and the sound score carried the mood nicely, (not too heavy, just the right amount). I’m not rating this film 3 stars strictly based on the quality of the screenplay or story, but rather on my personal taste. This was movie was just too gloomy and heartbreaking for my liking. I would definitely recommend watching this as a family and judging it for yourself…

  3. Avatar Patrick says:

    “Manchester By the Tree.” A beautiful look at the inherent injustice of life, made more through a child’s eyes. Like Yates-era Potter or Burton if he still cared, the art from top-to-bottom is breathtakingly gorgeous. It’s intellectually strong, spiritually penetrating, and narrativelly enveloping. The only issue is that emotionally it’s not nearly as effective as it thinks, partly because you can actively feel it begging you to be sad. Still, it’s a rare brave kid’s film that deserves to be reckoned with by all ages.

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