Swishwiffling! Steven Spielberg is Making a BFG Movie

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With his brilliant track record for making great fantasy films featuring plucky child heroes, if there’s anyone you’d trust to make a decent Roald Dahl adaptation, it’s probably Steven Spielberg. Everyone really ought to be super-excited, then, to learn that the Hollywood auteur has confirmed that he’s directing a new version of The BFG.

Amazingly, for all his obvious suitability, Spielberg wasn’t actually the studios’ first choice of director for the project: the book rights were initially bought by Dreamworks back in 2010 with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’s John Madden in mind for the role. Spielberg only took over after Madden instead began work on a BEMH sequel. Nevertheless, Madden remains attached as an executive producer, along with Michael Siegel (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Rise of the Guardians).

600full-the-bfg-posterAs if you needed any more incentive than “Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg” to see this film, the script is also being penned by Oscar-nominated E.T. writer Melissa Mathison, while Frank Marshall (Back to the Future, The Sixth Sense, Raiders of the Lost Ark) is producing.

Those of us who fall within a certain age bracket will almost certainly remember the (slightly disappointing) 1989 animated BFG film from our school days. Whether or not teachers are still showing that these days, it’s probably safe to say that Roald Dahl novels remain something of a classroom staple, so with this movie on the way, a whole new generation of kids will likely be in for a real treat. It’s a smart move for Dreamworks, then, who’ll not only be pulling in huge family audiences, but also crowds of nostalgic 20-somethings comparing it to “the original”.

In an official statement posted on the Roald Dahl website, Spielberg wrote:

“The BFG has enchanted families and their children for more than three decades. We are honoured that the Roald Dahl estate has entrusted us with this classic story.”

Production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2015, with the movie due for release in 2016, a year which will also mark Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday.

Sources: BBC News | The Guardian | The Roald Dahl Blog

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