Focus tapped Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Impossible”) last month to direct “A Monster Calls,” based on the Patrick Ness novel, with producing partner Belen Atienza on board. No cast has been attached.
The story centers on a young boy who deals with his mother’s illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales. The book won Britain’s Carnegie Medal and Greenaway Medal in 2012 for best children’s literature.
Executive producers are 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.
Ness wrote the novel based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, and his adapted screenplay made the Black List of best unproduced screenplays last year.