Fantasy novel getting big screen treatment…

Acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona (‘The Impossible,’ ‘The Orphanage’) has inked a deal to direct ‘A Monster Calls,’ a drama based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel by Patrick Ness.

Based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, ‘A Monster Calls’ is a 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.

“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 endeavor. 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,” said Bayona in a statement.

“We’re pleased to join with our friends at Participant, River Road and Focus Features in financing and distributing this cherished and compelling property that has already earned a tremendous following in the world of children’s literature,” said Wachsberger. “We’re delighted to reunite with the creative forces behind our worldwide hit The Impossible, and there is nobody better suited to creating the fantastical world of A Monster Calls than the visionary filmmaker Juan Antonio Bayona.”

River Road Entertainment, Participant Media, Lionsgate International, and Focus Features will finance the project, with Belen Atienza, Bill Pohlad, Mitch Horwits, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, and Patrick Wachsberger producing.