After completing work on his cold war thriller Bridge Of Spies with long-time collaborator Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg has turned his eye to something a little more family-friendly: The BFG. The Roald Dahl adaptation has been on the director’s radar for years, and has at last commenced principal photography in Vancouver, B.C. with a starry cast all poised to bring the much-loved story to the big screen.
And if that prospect hasn’t tantalized your tastebuds, then brace yourself for this latest development. The classic tale will now go down in history as Spielberg’s first proper Disney movie. The mouse house has joined forces with Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment to co-produce and co-finance the flick, with Disney set to distribute internationally.
Here’s what the legendary filmmaker had to say on the union:
“In more than 40 years of making movies, I have been on the producing end of a number of films for The Walt Disney Company, but never as a director,” said Steven Spielberg. “It is a special joy to be in the director’s chair as we start ‘The BFG,’ alongside my long-time friends and film collaborators Kathy Kennedy, who introduced me to this project, Frank Marshall and Melissa Mathison. Together with them and Disney, there are many reasons why I am so excited about this joint venture.”
With regards to its story, it’s believed that The BFG will remain loyal to the book, which follows a young girl called Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who is whisked away to Giant Country by the titular chappie (who will be mo-capped by Mark Rylance). Today’s announcement has brought us a stream of new supporting cast members that now includes a brand new batch of giants including Jemaine Clement, Michael David Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Chris Gibbs, Adam Godley, Jonathan Holmes, Paul Moniz de Sa and Olafur Olaffson. Penelope Wilton (Shaun of The Dead, Downton Abbey) has also been cast as The Queen and Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3, The Awakening) will join her side as Mary, the Queen’s maid.
The BFG is poised to open in theaters on July 1, 2016.
“The BFG” is the exciting tale of a young London girl and the mysterious Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, “The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant) was published in 1982 and has been enchanting readers of all ages ever since. Dahl’s books, which also include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “Matilda” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” are currently available in 58 languages and have sold over 200 million copies worldwide.
Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaptation based on a script by Melissa Mathison, who last teamed with Spielberg on “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.” Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Sam Mercer will produce while Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden, Michael Siegel and Kristie Macosko Krieger are on board as executive producers. Adam Somner is a co-producer. The Disney/Amblin/Reliance production in association with Walden Media will open in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that coincides with the 100thanniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth. The Walt Disney Studios is distributing the film in the U.S. and several international territories while Mister Smith Entertainment will oversee distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Reliance will distribute the film in India.