Juan Antonio Bayona Answers When A Monster Calls

Impossible director handling fantasy adaptation


Though you might think his time would be consumed by work on the World War Z sequel, The Impossible’s director Juan Antonio Bayona is focusing instead on a more personal project he’s hoping to make before he plunges into the zombie apocalypse. Bayona has set up an adaptation of Patrick Ness’ fantasy tale A Monster Calls.

Ness is adapting his own book, which follows a young boy who deals with bullying and his mother’s serious illness by retreating into a fantastical world containing fairy tale beasts and other creatures. Bayona has Lionsgate, Focus Features, Participant Media and other companies on board to finance the film, and is aiming at an autumn 2016 release.

“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 endeavour,” said Bayona. “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.” From the sounds of it, he wants to have the trilogy wrapped up before turning his attention to the horrors of Brad Pitt’s battle with the undead.

Ness is popular in Hollywood at the moment: another of his books, Chaos Walking, has Charlie Kaufman working on the adaptation and Robert Zemeckis considering directing it.