EXCLUSIVE: Felicity Jones is making a deal to star in A Monster Calls, the Juan Antonio Bayona-directed adaptation of the Patrick Ness children’s fantasy novel. I’ve heard that she will play the character of Mum, and that the filmmakers are courting Liam Neeson for the role of the Monster, though I am not sure that will result in a deal. The film tells the tale of a young boy who attempts to deal with his mother’s illness and the bullying of classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that deal with courage, loss and faith. Ness wrote the book based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, and Ness and illustrator Jim Kay won Britain’s Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for the book which Ness has turned into a script.
The film is a co-production between River Road Entertainment, Participant Media, Lionsgate International, and Focus Features, with Belen Atienza producing. The film will be released in fall 2016 and it’s next for Bayona, who helmed The Impossible. Focus is releasing domestically, Universal Pictures International in Spain, and Lionsgate International throughout the rest of the world. Exec producing is River Road’s Bill Pohlad and Mitch Horwits, Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King, and Lionsgate’s Patrick Wachsberger.
Jones has been busy. She next stars as the title character in Rosaline this summer for Universal, she starred in the James Marsh-directed Theory Of Everything, and she will next be seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which premieres Thursday in Manhattan. She also stars with Jonah Hill and James Franco in the Rupert Goold-directed True Story for New Regency. She’s repped by WME and Independent Talent Group.