Dahl, a well-known author of childrens’ books including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” published “The BFG” in 1982.
It’s the last remaining Dahl book yet to be turned into a major feature film. Until now, that is.
“I think it was kind of genius of Roald Dahl to be able to empower the children. It was very, very brave of him to introduce that combination of darkness and light which was so much Disney’s original signature,” said Spielberg in a statement.
The director said the picture is in the same vein as Disney classics, “Dumbo,” “Fantasia,” “Snow White” and “Cinderella.” They are scary, but also “redemptive” and “teaches a lesson, an enduring lesson, to everyone.”
The story is about Sophie, (Ruby Barnhill) a precocious 10-year-old who encounters “The BFG” (Mark Rylance). That’s “Big Friendly Giant” for the uninitiated. He stands 24-feet tall with enormous ears, keen sense of smell and very much introverted.
He lives in Giant Country where other giants, like like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) who are far scarier and like to eat humans.
Sophie is snatched from her bed in London by BFG and taken to her cave. She realizes he is a friendly giant and they soon form an endearing bond.
“It’s a story about friendship, it’s a story about loyalty and protecting your friends, and it’s a story that shows that even a little girl can help a big giant solve his biggest problems,” Spielberg says.
Problems arise when other giants find out about Sophie, so she and BFG head back to London, hoping to meet with Queen Victoria to inform her about the giant situation.
Melissa Mathison, who also wrote “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” wrote the screenplay for “The BFG.”
“The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.
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