|Source: Book Much|
Focus Features have this week announced the identity of the lead star of their upcoming fantasy drama motion picture A Monster Calls. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (a relative newcomer to the blockbuster scene, although his 2012 effort The Impossible went down a storm - or should that be 'went down a tsunami? - at the Academy Awards last year), this much-vaunted adaptation of Patrick Ness' simultaneously enchanting and haunting novel of the same name will star Sigourney Weaver (Alien; Paul) as the grandmother of the text's protagonist, Conor, Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction; The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as his mother and Liam Neeson (Wanted; Life's Too Short; Rev; every kidnap-orientated action film ever created) as the nightmarish creature who haunts his dreams.
But just who will portray Conor, we hear you ask, dear reader? That particular honour goes to Lewis MacDougall, a rising star whose big-screen début will occur next year with the release of Pan, Warner Bros.' impending live-action re-imagining of J.M. Barrie's ageless youngster, where he'll play the role of Nibs. Although at first it might seem a risky move for Focus to cast a relative unknown as their leading man for what could turn out to be one of their most ambitious projects in years, films such as these can often catapult up-and-coming actors into stardom for life (Daniel Radcliffe and co. probably don't regret taking a leap of faith in auditioning for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, for instance), propelling the relevant studio to new levels of success all the while. Who knows, then? To our minds, the possibility that this particular casting could be a turning-point both for MacDougall and Focus would be more than enough to leave us ecstatic about the prospect of witnessing the final product even if we weren't major proponents of the enviably accomplished source material (but trust us, readers are unlikely to find many bigger fans of the original text than they will here at On-Screen).
A Monster Calls imparts its first teaching in cinemas worldwide on October 14th, 2016.