Spielberg to Tackle Live-Action BFG
Award-winning director and household name Steven Spielberg has confirmed that he is going to direct a live-action adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.
Spielberg has some hefty titles under his belt: Jaws, ET, Gremlins 1 and 2, the Men in Black and Indiana Jones franchises, Oscar-winning Lincoln… The list goes on! And now, with another two movies in the pipeline, the recent uncertainty of what Spielberg’s next step could possibly be after postponing Robocalypse (because he felt “the script is not ready”) has been wiped out.
It was lined up that John Madden would be director – he of English independent film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Unfortunately, Madden now has his hands full with a sequel to his 2012 hit, and although he has said he will stay on as a producer for The BFG, it still needed a director and so Spielberg decided to step in. Melissa Mathison, who wrote the original screenplay for the 1982 movie ET: the Extra Terrestrial, is teaming up with Spielberg once again and has penned the script for The BFG.
The book upon which the film will be based was written by acclaimed author Roald Dahl in 1982 and was apparently the expansion of a story told in one of the writer’s earlier books, Danny, Champion of the World. The BFG told the story of a little orphaned girl named Sophie (named after Dahl’s granddaughter, Sophie Dahl, former fashion model) and how she came to meet the only nice giant in the world – The Big Friendly Giant, or BFG for short.
Roald Dahl was mainly known for his children’s books and short stories with dark humour and unexpected endings. His stories are known the world over and many have been made into films: Fantastic Mr Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, Matilda… You get the picture. The BFG had an animated film adaptation made in 1989 with the voices of television and voice actress Amanda Root and David Jason, best known for his roles in Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses and DI Jack Frost in A Touch of Frost. But up until now, no one has attempted to make a live-action adaptation of the story.
Dahl died in November 1990 at the age of 74 and is buried in Buckinghamshire. Spielberg’s studio, Dreamworks, bought the rights for The BFG back in 2010 and it is thought that the movie will be released in mid-2016.
Before filming starts for The BFG early next year, Spielberg will be reuniting with Tom Hanks (the pair have worked together on Catch Me If You Can and Saving Private Ryan, amongst others) for a currently untitled Cold War thriller. Spielberg has also written the new Goonies 2 storyline.
“The BFG has enchanted families and their children for more than three decades,” announced Spielberg in a statement. “We are honoured that the Roald Dahl Estate has entrusted us with this classic story.”