River Road Entertainment, Participant Media, Lionsgate International and Focus Features will finance and distribute Apache’s upcoming fantasy from Juan Antonio Bayona.

Focus Features will handle US distribution and Lionsgate will take charge of international sales on Juan Antonio Bayona’s upcoming fantasy adaptation, earmarked for an autumn 2016 release.

Universal Pictures International will handle the Spanish theatrical and home entertainment release.

The producer is Belen Atienza, whose credits include Bayona’s The Impossible and The Orphanage as well as Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.

River Road’s Bill Pohlad and Mitch Horwits, Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman Patrick Wachsberger serve as executive producers.

A Monster Calls is based on Patrick Ness’ children’s fantasy novel. Ness himself is writing the screenplay about a young boy who deals with bullying and his mother’s illness by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales.

Bayona and Lionsgate previously collaborated on Summit’s The Impossible, the Goya winner and $180m worldwide hit that became the second biggest release of all time in Spain.

“It is an incredible privilege to bring Patrick Ness’ exceptional book to the screen and I couldn’t have imagined better partners joining me in this endeavour,” said Bayona. “After The Orphanage and The Impossible, A Monster Calls is the perfect final chapter in a trilogy centred on the extraordinary strength of the mother-child bond.”

Participant Media COO Jeff Ivers, River Road’s Horwits, Lionsgate’s Wachsberger and Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel negotiated the deal with CAA.