Disney Gets Involved With Steven Spielberg’s The BFG

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With production just beginning in Vancouver, Walt Disney Studios has announced it will co-produce and co-finance Steven Spielberg’s The BFG.  

"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 Spielberg in a press release.  "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 Steven Spielberg at the helm, The BFG will undoubtedly capture the minds of children and adults alike – as Roald Dahl’s original stories and many of Steven’s own films have done for decades,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “The team at Disney has tremendous respect for the filmmakers, and we’re thrilled to join with them to make what will be a spectacular picture.”

“This partnership speaks to the spirit of storytelling and the kinds of movies that we make here,” said Michael Wright, CEO of DreamWorks Studios. “Over the years, we have enjoyed a fruitful collaboration, and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with Disney in this expanded capacity on The BFG.”

Based on the 1982 novel by Roald Dahl – who also wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and Fantastic Mr. Fox - The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) tells the story of a young London girl named Sophie and the mysterious Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.

The film’s cast includes Mark Rylance as the “Big Friendly Giant” and newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, along with Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Michael David Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Chris Gibbs, Adam Godley, Jonathan Holmes, Paul Moniz de Sa and Olafur Olaffson, all cast as giants. Penelope Wilton will play The Queen and Rebecca Hall will play Mary, the Queen’s maid.

Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaptation based on a script by Melissa Mathison. 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 BFG will open in theaters July 1, 2016, the year that coincides with the 100thanniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth.

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