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'A Monster Calls' Felicity Jones to Star in Juan Antonio Bayona's Children's Fantasy Adaptation

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood April 23, 2014 at 3:35PM

Brit "It" woman Felicity Jones ("Breathe In," "The Invisible Woman") has landed a starring role in Spanish helmer Juan Antonio Bayona's adaptation of the children's fantasy novel "A Monster Calls."
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Felicity Jones
Felicity Jones

Brit "It" woman Felicity Jones ("Breathe In," "The Invisible Woman") has landed a starring role in Spanish helmer Juan Antonio Bayona's adaptation of the children's fantasy novel "A Monster Calls."

Per Deadline, Jones will play the character of Mum, and the production is reportedly courting Liam Neeson to play the part of "the Monster." So what's the set-up of the tale by author Patrick Ness (who is also penning the script)? A young boy retreats into a fantastical world of monsters and other creatures as a way of coping with the illness of his mother and bullying classmates.

The film, which is eyeing a fall 2016 release, is a co-production between River Road, Lionsgate, Participant and Focus Features.

Next up on Jones' slate is "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," James Marsh's "Theory of Everything," and "True Story," opposite James Franco and Jonah Hill. Bayona, who directed 2012's tsunami-drama "The Impossible" and 2007 horror title "The Orphanage," has Showtime's Sam Mendes-produced "Penny Dreadful" coming up, for which Bayona directed the pilot. He's also lined up for the "World War Z" sequel, whenever that gets rolling.

This article is related to: News, CASTING WATCH, casting, Felicity Jones, Juan Antonio Bayona


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.