Sometimes it seems like Liam Neeson’s played them all, from Michael Collins to a gangster priest, from Zeus to a range of badass middle aged men.

But in the upcoming film “A Monster Calls,” Neeson takes on a whole new role: a benevolent monster made of sticks, leaves and tree bark.

The monster Neeson voices arrives one night to help a young boy, Conor O'Malley (played by Lewis MacDougal), cope as his mother is dying of terminal cancer. The film is based on a book by Patrick Ness (who also wrote the film), but based on an original idea by the acclaimed Irish-British children’s book author Siobhan Dowd.

It was the last book Dowd was contracted to write before she died in 2007, and eventually Ness was selected to finish telling the story. Ness and illustrator Jim Kay have won numerous awards for the work.

The film adaptation, directed by J.A. Bayona and also starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Tony Kebbell, will be released in the US in October, and in Ireland in January.

Enjoy the trailer (at the start of the article). Even if Liam Neeson didn’t introduce it himself, we’d still recognize that gravelly, Ballymena-bread voice of his anywhere.