Walt Disney Studios Joins Steven Spielberg’s 'The BFG'
The Walt Disney Studios has announced it will co-produce and co-finance Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, which recently began production in Vancouver.
Regarding this news, Spielberg had this to say about Disney's involvement with the project, “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. 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.”
Alan Horn, Chairman of the The Walt Disney Studios, said, "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. 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.”
Along with Horn, Michael Wright, CEO of DreamWorks Studios, talked about this deal, saying, "This partnership speaks to the spirit of storytelling and the kinds of movies that we make here. 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.”
The cast includes three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance who will play the titular "Big Friendly Giant" and newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie. They are joined by Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, with Penelope Wilton as The Queen and Rebecca Hall as Mary, the Queen’s maid. Spielberg will direct the film adaptation based on a script by Melissa Mathison, who last teamed with Spielberg on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. The BFG is scheduled for a 1st July 2016 release, the year that coincides with the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth.