If you’re still yearning for a giant adventure off the back of Spielberg’s The BFG, Juan Antonio Bayona’s mystical adventure A Monster Calls ought to sate your appetite.
A visually sumptuous fantasy tale that’s relatively darker than Roald Dahl’s feel-good romp, Bayona’s latest creative venture is based on Patrick Ness’ novel of the same name. As illustrated in the all-new trailer below, A Monster Calls is the story of Conor O’Malley, a 14-year-old English schoolboy who perseveres through trials and tribulations – an ailing mother (Felicity Jones), bullies at school – that far exceed the normal drama an adolescent boy should face.
Played here by newcomer Lewis MacDougall, Bayona recently told USA Today that a heartfelt story is cinema’s greatest pull, stating that “we all need stories to understand our own reality. [This movie is] an homage to what we do as filmmakers: The stories tell us the truth. There’s no truth in reality — reality is just a fact, there’s no logic or justice.”
Also starring Sigourney Weaver, Toby Kebbell and Liam Neeson as the title behemoth, those familiar with Ness’ original work will know that A Monster Calls hails from a world brimming with beasts and fairytales, and is exactly the kind of magic that we arguably haven’t seen on the big screen since, say, Pan’s Labyrinth.
Before getting to grips with Universal’s dinos in Jurassic World 2, Juan Antonio Bayona will debut Focus Features’ A Monster Calls on October 21. Both the trailer and all-new poster can be glimpsed below.
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. Also featuring Liam Neeson who will star in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting monster of the title, and Sigourney Weaver as the maternal grandmother.