In 2011, Patrick Ness’ children’s novel “A Monster Calls” was published by Walker Books. Based on an original idea by Siobhan Dowd, the novel follows a boy named Conor O’Malley who struggles to cope with his mother’s terminal cancer and is repeatedly visited in the middle of the night by a monster who tells him stories. The book was critically acclaimed upon release and won numerous awards including the Carnegie Medal and the British Children’s Book of the Year.
Now, a film adaptation will soon hit theaters nationwide, with a screenplay written by Ness himself and directed by J. A. Bayona (“The Impossible”). It stars newcomer Lewis MacDougall (“Pan”) as Conor, Sigourney Weaver (“Alien”) as Conor’s grandmother, Felicity Jones (“Rogue One”) as Conor’s mother, Toby Kebbell (“War Horse”) as Conor’s father and finally Liam Neeson (“Schindler’s List”) as the voice of the Monster. Watch a video of Neeson reading the first chapter of “A Monster Calls” below.
“A Monster Calls” first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. It later screened at the Zurich Film Festival, Fantastic Fest and the London Film Festival. It opened in theaters in Los Angeles and New York on Friday, December 23. The film will expand nationwide on January 6, courtesy of Focus Features.