The tales of Roald Dahl have thrilled kids for decades. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach are all classics in their own right, but is the power of Dahl ready to meet the overwhelming influence of the combined efforts of Walt Disney Studios, and director Steven Spielberg? Are we? You better hope so because next summer, the Spielberg-directed, Disney-produced adaptation of The BFG will arrive in multiplexes everywhere. Since ’tis the season for teaser trailers for next year’s biggest movies, the very first look at The BFG has just been released online for your eyes to behold and wonder.
In case you don’t know, The BFG is the story of an orphan named Sophie who becomes friends with a 24-foot-tall giant she comes to know as the Big Friendly Giant (or the BFG in other words). The story hits many of the classic, Spielbergian hot spots like an unusual friendship, finding yourself through an adventure, and a kid hero with parental issues who has an encounter with the extraordinary. The Adventures of Tintin notwithstanding, this has all the makings of a Spielberg film the types of which we haven’t seen in awhile. Are you ready for The BFG? Let’s roll the teaser.
What says the man himself about The BFG. “I think it was kind of genius of Roald Dahl to be able to empower the children,” Spielberg said about the story. “It was very, very brave of him to introduce that combination of darkness and light which was so much Disney’s original signature in a lot of their earlier works like in Dumbo, Fantasia, Snow White and Cinderella, and being able to do scary, but also be redemptive at the same time and teach a lesson, an enduring lesson, to everyone, it was a wonderful thing for Dahl to have done, and it was one of the things that attracted me to want to direct this Dahl book.”
Frequent Spielberg collaborators Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy have been trying to develop The BFG since the mid-90s. When Spielberg came aboard, he recruited E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial screenwriter Melissa Mathison to pen the script; The BFG will be her final produced screenplay as she passed away last month. There has been one previous adaption of the book, an animated film that aired on ITV on Christmas Day 1989.
The BFG starring, Mark Rylance as The BFG, Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, Penelope Wilton as The Queen and Bill Hader as Giant, will be in theaters everywhere on July 1, 2016.