Juan Antonio Bayona, the Spanish director of The Orphanage and the Naomi Watts-starring tsunami disaster film The Impossible, is set to direct a horror-fantasy entitled A Monster Calls, an adaptation of the Chaos Walking children’s fantasy novel series by Patrick Ness. Deadline is reporting that the project will see Focus Features committing $20 million in P&A to the film’s release, which will be financed by River Road Entertainment and Participant Media. Ness is to adapt his own novel.
Here’s Amazon’s synopsis for the novel:
An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.
A Monster Calls is set to be produced by Belén Atienza, who has produced Bayona’s two previous films, Gullermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth and Steven Soderbergh’s two-parter Che. Production is expected to start this fall (U.S. season) with a plan to release the film in 2016. Bayona is also attached to direct the sequel to World War Z, but this will be first in line.