Liam Neeson courted for key role…

British actress Felicity Jones (‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ ‘Like Crazy,’ ‘Theory of Everything’) is reportedly near to taking to the lead in the Juan Antonio Bayona-directed ‘A Monster Calls.’

Adapted from the award-winning children’s fantasy novel by Patrick Ness, the drama is 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.

Deadline has Jones taking the role of the boy’s mother, with ‘Taken’ star Liam Neeson being lined up for the title monster.

Producers include Belén Atienza, River Road’s Bill Pohlad and Mitch Horwits, Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King, and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairman Patrick Wachsberger.