The BFG – Rolad Dahl’s 1982 novel, not the infamous weapon from Doom, is returning to the big screen. DreamWorks has secured the screen rights to Dahl’s story, which looks to be brought to life in live-action form (unlike the animated 1989 film adaptation) and produced by Indiana Jones franchise staples Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.
It turns out that another talent associated with a famous Steven Spielberg production will be scripting the project – namely, Oscar-nominated E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial scriber, Melissa Mathison.
The Wrap has confirmed that Mathison will adapt Dahl’s BFG novel. It should become her first produced screenplay since the Martin Scorsese-directed Kundun – back in 1997 – and mark Mathison’s latest venture into the territory of beloved children’s literary adaptations (she previously worked on the scripts for The Black Stallion and The Indian in the Cupboard).
Dahl’s The BFG (an acronym for “Big Friendly Giant”) tells the story of Sophie, a young orphan who, one night, encounters the title character: a kind-hearted giant with enormous ears, who devotes much of his time to collecting and distributing pleasant dreams to children around the world. The BFG thereafter takes Sophie back to his home in Giant Land – a dangerous place ruled by child-eating, cavemen-like giants that are far larger (and more bloodthirsty) than the BFG.
In other words – The BFG boasts Dahl’s trademark mixture of whimsical storytelling and darkly imaginative fantasy.
Previous cinematic adaptations of Dahl’s literature has varied greatly in design and style, due largely to the eclectic collection of auteurs who have been behind them – including, Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox), Tim Burton (the 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie), Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach), and Danny DeVito (Matilda), among others.
It goes without saying that certain Dahl adaptations are more (or less) liked than others. However, the best tend to both retain the timeless and ingenious feel of their inspiration – and take advantage of cutting-edge special effects (stop-motion animation, CGI, etc.) to recreate the often phantasmagorical characters, worlds, and plot elements of Dahl’s literature. Given the writing and production talent already involved with the project, the new BFG movie seems positioned to pull off such an act.
As for who should play the titular giant – we’ll go ahead and recommend Oscar-nominee James Cromwell. Seriously, you give that fellow giant prosthetic ears to wear, he looks almost exactly like illustrator Quentin Blake’s original sketches of the character in Dahl’s novel!
We shall keep you posted on the status of The BFG as more information is released.
Source: The Wrap