A MONSTER CALLS
About The Production
A Monster Calls began with the book A Monster Calls, first published in 2011.
Sergio Sanchez, a voracious reader, and also the screenwriter of The Orphanage
and The Impossible, was so entranced by the novel that he gave it to those
award-winning films' director, his friend J.A. Bayona.
Upon reading the book, Bayona recognized at once "themes I'd touched on in The
Orphanage and The Impossible: characters finding themselves in a very intense
situation, with death on the horizon.
"I saw this as a powerful and important story to tell as a movie - an adventure
that anyone can relate to."
Millions of readers agree. The novel, written by Patrick Ness, based on an
original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, has been published in almost 40
languages. A Monster Calls won many prestigious prizes worldwide, including the
distinguished Carnegie Medal and, for illustrator Jim Kay, the Kate Greenaway
Medal. Bayona marvels, "It became beloved, and iconic - and I wanted to do it
Belen Atienza, Bayona's producer on his earlier movies and an executive producer
on the multi-Oscar-winning Pan's Labyrinth, took to the book as well. "Belen and
I both felt passionate about it," states the director, adding that he "knew it
would be an even bigger challenge than The Impossible."
Atienza muses, "Like all good books that deal with a big subject, in the end you
find that it's truly been speaking to you about a lot of different things. One
of the key themes is how we process grief and the loss of loved ones. That's
what strikes you in a very direct way when you first read the book, but reading
it again you can realize the author is exploring how fantasy is part of us as
human beings - and the power it can give us to help deal with life.
"Once you start to read it and to hear Conor's voice, the effect is so
compelling. The beautiful, delicate jewel of a story stayed with me for months."
The story had originated with another author, Siobhan Dowd. She succumbed to
cancer soon after starting it. Ness reflects, "Siobhan wrote magnificent books,
ones that teenagers deeply responded to; A Monster Calls was to have been her
fifth. She had an opening; 1,000 words; an idea for a structure; and a few
Initially hesitant when approached by the late author's editor and asked to
adopt the idea, Ness eventually took on the responsibility. His attachment to
the story only grew, and he wanted to ensure that the conversations it
encouraged would continue. As such, he wrote a very faithful screenplay
adaptation. He explains, "To me, this is a story about fear of loss. I was
really trying above all things to find the truth of how Conor felt; to not lie
about it, not sugarcoat it, not sentimentalize it...to really feel how it hurts,
because it surely does."
The producer and director sensed that the story could work as a film - without
ever losing the emotional core. Atienza notes, "Bayona is someone who listens to
his emotions. He found a lot of himself in this kid, how Conor accesses fantasy
in this difficult point in his life.
"Since, in his films, Bayona likes to speak to audiences through a combination
of different genres, this was perfect material for him. He began to see how he
might interpret the novel, bringing it 'round to his own territory."
The director notes, "I was also inspired to think about why it is we tell
stories, and I began to read up on works of mythology from experts such as
After finishing The Impossible, a film which went on to move audiences around
the world, Bayona received the A Monster Calls screenplay from his agent.
Spain's Telecinco Cinema, which had backed Bayona's earlier films, stepped
forward to finance the development and the director knew it would be his next
project. Atienza states, "With the unconditional support of these dear partners,
we were able to prepare the movie properly." Joined by Spain's La Trini, and by
the prestigious U.S.-based production companies Participant Media and River Road
Entertainment, the story was finally headed for the big screen.
"Bayona and I felt that River Road and Participant understood our creative
goals, and this story, from the very beginning," remarks Atienza. "They realized
that we wanted the movie to be a meaningful experience, something you think
about afterwards, for a wide audience."
Bayona and Ness began meeting in Barcelona. "Bayona spoke of how A Monster Calls
could for him complete a trilogy about mothers and sons," remembers the author.
"I could see that he was the ideal storyteller for this tale. One thing I like
about him, which is probably the most important thing in all of my own writing,
is that he takes the feelings of a child seriously. He sees the child as a human
being, not as a human being in waiting but as someone who truly lives and
experiences and feels pain, joy, fear, trust issues, and happiness."
The two took time to work out details of taking the book from page to screen.
"We didn't want to make a melodrama," states Bayona. "Everything had to be
integrated: Conor's diverging relationships with his mother and his grandmother,
and the fantastical element of the story. I realized that the 40-foot-high
Monster would need to be depicted by integrating 2D and 3D animation.
"One other thing that unlocked it for me was the idea that Conor loves to draw;
it connected everything else. This was also a bond to me personally, as I was
obsessed with drawing when I was a boy."
Bayona feels that "the book speaks about death in a direct and darker way. For
the film, I wanted to transcend what we know is coming - the death of Conor's
mother - and be able to fuse the boy's need to draw with the strength of legacy.
There is light at the end of the story, resulting from the idea that art heals.
Patrick's screenplay has added themes while still being faithful to the novel;
in making the movie, there are some elements of the book that we have taken
As usual for the director, prep work encompassed everything from concept art to
casting calls for children. To take the journey of making A Monster Calls, he
invited core creative collaborators along, "the people who have been critical to
the stories I've told - some dating back to film school."
Atienza adds, "Oscar Faura, our director of photography; our editors Bernat
Vilaplana and Jaume Marti; Fernando Velazquez, the composer - this powerful team
of ours can meet any technical challenges while also keeping their artists'
souls and a sensitivity to the intimacy of the stories that Bayona tells."
The creative team on A Monster Calls also includes production designer Eugenio
Caballero, an Academy Award winner for Pan's Labyrinth who previously
collaborated with Bayona on The Impossible; and costume designer Steven Noble,
who previously collaborated with actress Felicity Jones on her Oscar-nominated
performance in The Theory of Everything. Bayona marvels, "I had the finest
resources in the form of these collaborators."
At every phase of pre-production, production, and post-production, Bayona sees
Atienza as "my shadow. She is a constant support, not only in the organization
of the shoot, but creatively as well. Belen is key to my process.
"We have tried to bring this novel to the screen in the best and most faithful
way possible while at the same time infusing it with our personal vision."
As the project moved forward, it proved difficult to find the right young actor
to portray Conor. Atienza notes, "Conor is in practically every scene of the
movie. So we ended up looking at close to 1,000 boys."
Ness was "worried about how we would ever find somebody who could carry the
entire emotional weight of the film, who could take the entire journey of the
Late in the casting process, Lewis MacDougall was brought to the production's
attention; he had only just finished filming his first movie, Pan. Ness was
shown MacDougall's audition video and saw that "he was such a find, so true and
so focused. You could read everything on that face." Bayona agreed, noting that
"in the end there were a couple of very good candidates to play Conor, but we
could see that Lewis was able to convey internal conflict. This was important
because Conor struggles with a conflict that he is not able to externalize. All
told, Lewis did an extraordinary audition."
Atienza confirms, "His first video was magnetic. He has a lot inside, and he's
able to bring it out when he needs to. You see so much in his eyes. His way of
reacting in scenes is always unexpected. We felt an almost immediate connection
with Lewis." After a screen test in Barcelona, the role was his.
The project began to attract an impressive adult cast to support the young
actor. "Once I read the script, they had me," says Toby Kebbell, who signed on
as Conor's father. "I had a very emotional response to it. I was thinking about
it for days after; even when we're lucky enough to have parents, we all have
things we didn't understand about growing up."
Academy Award nominated-actress Sigourney Weaver was sought for the role of
Conor's maternal grandmother. "I'm a huge admirer of Bayona's earlier films; I
found them so powerful," she reveals. "I read Patrick's script and found it to
be a haunting and moving story. I felt at once that I would be in good hands
with this director who could find the balance between the reality of the
situation and the fantasy world that Conor escapes into.
"In both the book and the script, there is a great deal of respect for children;
what they experience, what they feel, what they fear. The story doesn't pull its
punches, but it is also filled with love."
Weaver had a clear idea of how to approach her character, and "A Monster Calls
marks my first grandmother role," she muses. "In the book and in the script,
Conor says she doesn't really look like a grandmother, so that was a wonderful
place for me to start!
"The grandmother in the book is rather scary. I liked the challenge of playing
someone who isn't so sympathetic, trying to find the humanity. But at the same
time, her point of view is relevant. Conor doesn't really like how different she
is from his mother, with all her rules. She is very controlling; being a mother
myself, I've been accused of this, so I'm on the grandmother's side and I feel
the grandmother is completely right all the time..."
Perhaps most significantly, Weaver took note of how "the situation takes a toll
on my character.
What this story shows is how it feels to be losing a member of the family - in
her case, her only child - to an illness. Ultimately, her and Conor's
relationship grows during the course of the film."
Atienza comments, "Having never before played a role like this, Sigourney Weaver
brings to our story what the character of the grandmother needed: physical power
and inner strength, strictness as well as tenderness."
Also crucial to the family dynamic was finding the right actress to portray
Weaver's character's daughter, who is MacDougall's character's mother. When
Bayona saw Felicity Jones in her breakout role in Like Crazy - as her Academy
Award-nominated portrayal in The Theory of Everything had not yet been screened
- he knew he had found the actress to play the role. "I could see in Felicity's
screen presence and her acting skills the light that she would bring into this
character," he notes.
Atienza clarifies, "Conor's mom had him when she was 18, and gave up her dreams
of becoming an artist. So this mother and son are close in age and therefore
have a special connection, a bond of friendship. Our casting Felicity puts that
front and center right away."
Jones took her character to heart. She states, "Lizzie is a vibrant, active
woman who has never stopped loving art. In her home, there are arts and crafts
that reveal her creative spirit. She has loved being a mother to Conor, although
she's a little unconventional.
"The fact that she's a single parent - because the relationship with Conor's
father has ended - makes the story more powerful because she has formed such an
incredible bond with her only child. What's so difficult for Lizzie and Conor is
admitting to each other that she is going to die."
With the grandmother taking more of an active role in her daughter and
grandson's life, Jones reached out to Weaver for extra insight into their
characters' dynamic. She offers, "Sigourney and I were very keen to find the
nuance in the daughter/mother relationship. In many ways, Lizzie is a bit of a
rebel. She had Conor when she was young. She's impulsive, and that has sometimes
been difficult for her mother. There's a tiny bit of friction between them.
"So what Lizzie wants for Conor is for him to live independently once she is
gone; she says to him, 'Don't be defined by anyone else.' She hopes that he will
be free, because in many ways Lizzie herself has not been. She's never quite
been able to find her freedom independently from her mother, so she wants that
for her son more than anything; there is enormous love between this mother and
daughter, but like any family relationship it has been complicated."
Weaver reveals, "We had rehearsals before we started, and we were able to root
around in the scenes and with the relationships. From the very beginning,
Felicity and I trusted each other so much that we could play out a huge fight
and bring as much reality to it as possible. This mother/daughter relationship
is highly emotional, and Felicity brings so much to these scenes."
"You can trust yourself with Felicity, performance-wise," agrees Kebbell. "She
is working as hard as you are to make sure that the scenes between you are
Weaver adds, "Each of us, with our own processes, tried to put our all into each
of the family scenes. We researched details of the illness and the gradual
decline of the body. Research is sort of like a suitcase; you keep putting
things in it. I know it helped me very much.
"It was very important to all of us to get it right, to tell this story
truthfully and with love and respect, especially for those who will see the
movie and who have been through this experience with loved ones."
To better portray the family member with the illness, Jones opted to "visit
oncologists because I wanted to get the medical perspective, to know exactly
which medications someone would be taking and just how people try and fight the
"What was incredible was speaking to people who are going through chemotherapy.
I met women who were very frank about their experiences and who would take me
through the daily rituals of how you cope with something like this. After I had
absorbed everything I could, I coordinated efforts with our movie's incredible
crew to chart Lizzie's decline."
Bald caps and prosthetics make-up were applied to dramatize the physical effects
of the illness taking hold. Working anew with Noble, Jones mapped out how the
clothes Lizzie wore might not fit any more because of weight loss - and the
actress decided to "lose weight to show how the cancer was affecting the body. I
wanted to convey how her breathing changes, and for us to see her body gradually
getting weaker and altering. In reading the script, I identified four specific
changes in her physicality, and it became all about trying to show those shifts
as subtly and as truthfully as possible."
In one poignant scene, mother and son curl up together to watch the 1933 King
Kong. The latter classic provided the A Monster Calls filmmakers with a
touchstone for how to approach their Monster. For, as Atienza notes, "It would
have been much easier - and, these days, expected - to get that completely
computer-generated. We got a fine CG team together, but our feeling is that
moviegoers are getting a bit tired of purely CG effects. It feels that much more
powerful when you have tangible physicality; that adds warmth and soul to an
So it was that a practical version of the Monster was built. Bayona comments,
"This was another way we allied ourselves with King Kong; the giant paw that
grabs Conor out of his bedroom, the massive foot he touches, the huge head
outside his window - they are all real, including handcrafting work.
"There is nothing that can't be done now in visual effects, so I believe it
engages audiences more when you go back to how things were done in the first
generations of moviemaking. It means more and better interaction for the actors,
The animatronic on-set Monster and his moving parts were tasked for special
make-up effects creations by Pan's Labyrinth Academy Award winners Montse Ribe
and David Marti with their company DDT. The duo mapped everything out in
conjunction with Bayona and Caballero, their fellow Pan's Labyrinth Oscar
Over a three-month period, over 30 artists and four hydraulics specialists
created head and shoulders, arms and hands, and feet. Marti reveals, "There are
hydraulics in the neck so that the head could move -and be operated by one
person from behind, using a kind of steering wheel.
First the head was sculpted and then we made a mold, copied it and painted it.
The head, shoulders, foot, arms, and branches are basically all foam. We had to
carve, burn, shape, paint, and provide texture to make all the parts of the
Monster look tree-like. The challenge we set for ourselves was, make it look
real but with very basic materials."
Bayona elaborates, "We did about 200 drawings of the Monster. The more we had
something that looked like fantasy, the less interesting it was for me.
Ultimately, we returned to something close to Jim Kay's iconic drawings in the
Atienza adds, "Those drawings by Jim not only inspired the design of the Monster
but also encouraged us to personally involve him in the development process,
doing some of the preliminary drawings and concept art for the film."
Several visual effects houses created the digital components of the Monster.
Post-production was allocated for a period covering over a year, as "defining
him digitally was complicated," says visual effects supervisor Felix Berges of
the firm El Ranchito, who with special effects supervisor Pau Costa won a Visual
Effects Society (VES) Award - honoring Supporting visual effects - for The
Impossible. "He had to have the rigidity and the weight of wood, and move
convincingly. We ended up mapping, composing, and filming 100 shots of him,
interacting with the boy - and it was very challenging!"
Ness reveals, "The Monster harks back to an English legend called 'The Green
Man.' He's sort of the landscape personified, rising up to tell stories. He
comes from, and is, a great big, powerful force." "The Monster also represents
that part of your personality which you haven't yet come to terms with," adds
As an actor utterly distinct in personality, voice, and stature, Liam Neeson was
everyone's first choice to portray the Monster, in both voiceover and
performance-capture. The Academy Award-nominated actor was drawn to the story
immediately, seeing it as "a fable about the complexity of our emotions, and
navigating that complexity as we grow up."
To provide geographical and environmental context for both the Monster and
Conor's family, the filmmakers took as a signpost a description in the second
tale the Monster tells: One hundred and fifty years ago this country had become
a place of industry. Factories grew up on the landscape like weeds...
So it was that unit production manager Margarita Huguet came to comb the north
of England, once the engine of the industrial revolution. She looked for key
dramatic locations, including the hill where the yew tree would stand near an
ancient church and cemetery.
Atienza recalls, "Some of the pictures Huguet sent us were from the countryside
close to Manchester -absolutely beautiful, with green fields and windy
landscapes, cottages and their stone facades, and at the same time echoes of an
industrial era in the forms of abandoned factories, huge chimneys, and red brick
buildings. We thought this region was very beautiful, and just right for the
story and the family's history."
The geography of A Monster Calls would span several filming locations, including
small towns near Manchester and near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. The
filmmakers found their hilltop at Rivington Pike, near Bolton, Lancashire. The
art department, with local help, built and positioned a yew tree to seem as if
it had stood for centuries.
A church and cemetery were found together near Delph, also in Lancashire. The
patch of land had not been updated or modernized in decades, as there was not a
single contemporary gravestone. As the real-life location could only sustain so
much activity and visitors, Caballero and Costa supervised a recreation of it as
a set on a soundstage in Spain.
In fact, the graveyard's presence in Conor's recurring nightmare necessitated a
raised set, built on a platform high above the ground and operated by a
hydraulic system. Costa's unit had to rig headstones to fall over, and parts of
the earth to break apart and cave in. Replicas of both church and cemetery were
built above and beyond the actual ones' scales.
Caballero notes, "Those replicas had to be precise, yet data was coming from a
computer generated model. That was one more example of how this project called
for a combination of high-end cutting-edge technology alongside very traditional
special effects. Our crew rolled up their sleeves to deploy building techniques
rarely used now, with molds and plaster, that gave character to the sets."
Atienza praises the finished quality of the setting for the nightmare sequences.
She reveals, "Half of it was shot in the real location, on the top of the hill
and in the churchyard; the other half was done at the studio in Barcelona. It
all looks of a piece, and is seamless."
The production designer stayed in and around Manchester for as long as he could;
he was struck at how the mills, red bricks, and Victorian architecture reminded
him of the fairy tales illustrated by Arthur Rackham or Edmund Dulac, which he
already had in mind while mapping out the fantasy elements of A Monster Calls.
This is because, he reveals, "All of the seeds of the fantasy are planted in
Conor's reality. If you look deeply, you will find the shared elements; there
are always links between his two worlds. One of this story's core ideas is how
fantasy is created out of necessity - and especially out of a need for hope.
"For me, the spaces themselves have to reflect what is happening to the
characters and in the story at that moment. Of the two homes in the family,
Conor's mother's house is messy and inviting; the palette is colorful, joyful.
The grandmother's house is more severe, and everything is in very strict order.
Every item has its position, and that frustrates this boy who is used to living
in a house where there is freedom."
Set decorator Pilar Revuelta, who also won an Oscar for Pan's Labyrinth, knew
exactly how to make Conor feel even more ill at ease at his grandmother's home.
Caballero elaborates, "Pilar and our teams used dull colors in that house and
made its interior sets a little bigger than normal, to make him look smaller. A
lot of straight lines and angles were layered in, which creates a certain
hostility towards - and in - him.
"For his own home, we did the exact opposite; everything is rounded so that you
feel the house is embracing him." The stone exterior of Conor's home, with its
overgrown backyard where he sits with the Monster, was created on a parking lot
at the Spain studios. The greens team erased any trace of autos residue,
planting tall grass brought over from England for the full overgrown effect. A
wooden shed and furniture were built, then weathered and aged accordingly.
Being from England herself, Jones praises the sets as being "so right. I was
overawed; there was not a single item or dressing or doorway that didn't look
entirely English. All the little nuances were there, reflecting how Lizzie does
not live materialistically.
"It would be a bit strange when we would arrive at the studio amidst beautiful,
clear blue Barcelona skies -and then step onto a soundstage and be mired in a
dreary day in the north of England!"
Another surprise for the actors, if not for the returning crew, was how much the
director likes to move the camera, which meant that sets had to be designed to
be as versatile and as flexible as possible. "Bayona wants to tell the story
with a camera," says Atienza. "He has the ability to create emotion with the
camerawork. The movement and framing are so important; for him, the camera is
speaking all the time - in the language of film."
To give Bayona the freedom to use the camera on a crane, walls of sets were
folded on rails or opened like doors. This allowed the camera to see whatever
and wherever it could, and allowed Caballero and Revuelta's unit to fill Conor's
room with interesting objects until it was nearly bursting at the seams.
Such adaptability meant the sets could be lit with a richness that would not
have been possible in natural interiors. In pre-production, director of
photography Oscar Faura planned out a lighting design for all the sets so that
they were always rigged and ready to go, enabling he and Bayona to move the
camera from one to another at any time.
Bayona remarks, "We did do a huge amount of preparation, which was absolutely
essential on a film as technically complicated as this one was. It was
fascinating to see the lighting on the interior sets, where the very particular
kind of light that you get in Manchester was recaptured and recreated. Even
those looking carefully will not be able to differentiate between what was
filmed indoors near Barcelona and what was filmed in Manchester."
The director reflects, "On A Monster Calls, what I discussed most with Oscar was
how this story should be very much anchored in reality. From the first days of
filming, Oscar would find exactly the right atmosphere, the right level of
darkness or light for each sequence. We've made three movies together now, and I
still don't know how he does it. He has the instincts of the old-school
cinematographers who created great cinema.
"I think we work together so well because I'm the kind of director who is always
looking for the accident, something unexpected that comes out of improvisation -
and Oscar is just the opposite; he likes to have everything really locked down.
So he keeps my feet closer to the ground while I encourage him to be more daring
and to take more risks. I'm proud of what we have achieved on A Monster Calls;
visually, this is the most beautiful of the films we have made together."
Atienza muses that "the connection among Bayona, Caballero, and Faura has only
grown stronger since The Impossible. Each one makes the other better as together
they create something wonderful."
Caballero notes, "I feel a lot of freedom working with Bayona, because we trust
each other. The important thing is always, 'What do we want to convey, what do
we want to make people feel?' We seek to achieve an emotional response. Bayona
has this ability to bring emotions onto the screen. It is a gift."
As A Monster Calls is a deeply felt story, J. A. Bayona applied any number of
techniques to make sure that his actors remained in touch with their characters'
emotions. On most days, indelible movie music could be heard on the set in order
to evoke a mood; Ennio Morricone and Jerry Goldsmith scores were among the
director's favorites on this shoot. He allowed the camera to keep rolling
through multiple takes, without the interruption of a clapperboard or shouts of
"Action!" or "Cut!"
Felicity Jones says, "Having someone shout 'Action!' just as you are about to do
a crying scene doesn't always put you in the best frame of mind. That's only one
way in which Bayona makes it possible for you to find the emotional depth of the
scene and your character.
"You're not thinking, 'Where's the camera?' You're not thinking outside of
yourself; you become more and more inside the character, which is what he is
trying to achieve with you. It's a very special experience, working with him."
"As a director, he engaged me a great deal," says Toby Kebbell. "I felt the
human connection with him, and with the other actors."
"Bayona is a real cinema talent," states Liam Neeson. "Occasionally you get to
work with directors who are steeped in the love of what they do, and Bayona is
one of those. He eats, sleeps, and drinks movies. He's a walking film
encyclopedia. He's a bit like Martin Scorsese in that way. "He's also very
sensitive. He takes care of, guides, and nurtures his actors and that's what I
always hope a director will do. He allows you to experiment, so you both can get
at the truth of what a scene is - and he will try for as long as it takes. I
love working with a director like that."
As part of Bayona's approach, Neeson worked alongside Lewis MacDougall so that
both actors could share ownership of their scenes together. Neeson reflects,
"I've worked with children who've been swamped by the industry, and they've lost
a kind of childlike innocence. Lewis has all that intact. He's still a real kid
- but also a powerful young actor."
The young actor - who was 12 years old, the age of his character, at the time of
filming - faced a wide range of performance challenges on A Monster Calls,
including having an acting partner working in performance capture. MacDougall
offers, "That was quite difficult because of how technical it was. I would be
standing at one end of the room and Liam would be standing at the other end.
On-screen it is made to look as if I were standing right in front of him.
"But he was right there for me in every scene we could have together."
However, for the even more ambitious outdoors sequences, MacDougall more often
had to perform opposite an animatronic puppet incarnation of the Monster - and
sometimes opposite no more than a marker. The nightmare sequences necessitated
his wearing a harness and abseiling ropes and being protected by a stunt team -
during several days of filming in cold and wet conditions.
"I have so much admiration for Lewis, working long hours and being in basically
every scene," praises Sigourney Weaver. "First of all, he's so talented. He's
also a trouper, and a professional. The role of Conor is a very demanding one,
physically and emotionally. Lewis was so courageous, so present, so truthful.
"I've really learned a lot about acting from Lewis, because he's very much in
"Lewis was already hugely talented when we started to shoot with him," says
Belen Atienza. "He had very good instincts, and he learned throughout the
process to get where he needed to be in a more direct way. We've seen him grow
in front of our eyes, in every respect."
Bayona states, "Lewis was the perfect actor to play Conor. He has a wonderful
vulnerability and at the same time a great strength that goes beyond his years,
and a lot of that is echoed in the character. He can be compared to an adult
actor because he has an amazing ability to prepare himself for a scene.
"In the hospital scene with Felicity, he did a couple of takes where he was
caught between wanting to be strong for his mother and feeling grief for
himself. Watching him act out that scene was absolutely breathtaking. He is in
this incredible struggle, and you can see all the emotion across his face."
MacDougall says, "What was great about working with Bayona is how he would
always push me to do better, and then at the end of every scene he'd always
giving me a hug and say 'Thank you.''"
The director chose not to give his young lead the script page for the very last
scene in A Monster Calls, so that MacDougall would be able to convey the most
natural, authentic response as the events unfolded. "And that's just what Lewis
gifted us with," says Bayona.
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