Steven Spielberg’s The BFG tanked hard at the box office, but the folks behind A Monster Calls believe that they’ll find better success with a bigger, albeit less friendly, giant.
Liam Neeson voices a behemoth with eyes of fire and a body made from interwoven tree trunks in the upcoming fantasy film, set for a Halloween-hugging debut on October 21st. The kinda-imaginary, kinda-real titan appears in the film as a manifestation of young Conor O’Malley’s (Pan‘s Lewis MacDougall) turbulent temper, a sort of coping mechanism to his mother’s (Felicity Jones) declining health. Sent to live with his terminally un-fun grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), he retreats into a world of his own creation to process these frightening new traumas.
With direction from Juan Antonio Bayona (the mind behind Spanish bone-chiller The Orphanage, disaster drama The Impossible, and a couple episodes of Penny Dreadful), the trailer above offers a peek at a fusion of the surreal with the too-real, as Conor flees his crumbling personal life to cause havoc with his gargantuan new best friend. In an uncharacteristically weak year for new studio releases, maybe trying something a little left-of-center such as this could bring Focus Features a much-needed hit.