A Monster Calls: Delayed release puts J.A. Bayona film firmly in Oscars 2017 race

The Patrick Ness adaptation stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and newcomer Lewis MacDougall 

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 31 August 2016 10:35
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A Monster Calls trailer

There are only a few reasons as to why the planned release date of a film is pushed back - and it's usually because the production is in trouble. Producers of A Monster Calls, however, seem to be sniffing for awards glory.

The adaptation of Patrick Ness' novel was originally due to be released in the US on 21 October, but has now been delayed until the Christmas weekend (23 December).

With the film in the can and poised for release - it's even scheduled to be showing at next month's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) - the film's distributors clearly have high hopes for the film's critical and commercial success.

Ness wrote the screenplay for the big-screen adaptation which is directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) who will next oversee the Jurassic World sequel.

A Monster Calls stars Lewis MacDougall as Conor O'Malley, a young boy visited by a story-telling monster during the same time his mother (Felicity Jones) is terminally ill with cancer. Sigourney Weaver co-stars as O'Malley's strict grandmother, while Liam Neeson voices the monster. The story was the idea of author Siobhan O'Dowd who passed away before she could write it.

Former awards favourite The Birth of a Nation was recently thrown into controversy following the resurfacing of director Nate Parker's college rape trial. Other films that are expected to be a part of next year's race include Whiplash director Damien Chazelle's La La Land, Nocturnal Animals from Tom Ford and the Adam Driver-starring Jim Jarmusch film Paterson.

A Monster Calls will be released in the UK on 6 January.

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