The BFG, director Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved 1982 children’s book classic, is among the most anticipated family films of Summer 2016. Not only is it the most significant Dahl adaptation to hit screens in several years, it also marks Spielberg’s reunion with E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison (who, sadly, passed away shortly after production on The BFG was completed), as well as the director’s latest collaborative effort with actor Mark Rylance (who won an Oscar for his performance in Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, released last year).
In addition, The BFG marks Spielberg’s first-ever proper collaboration with Walt Disney Pictures – a pairing that one seemed all-but-impossible in the business of Hollywood. Disney, as part of the buildup to the film’s released, has unveiled the B-Roll footage for The BFG, along with four clips from the fantasy adventure – including, an introduction to the title character’s signature “giant-speak” malapropisms.
In The BFG, Rylance portrays a lovable giant nicknamed The BFG (“Big Friendly Giant”) who takes an orphaned British girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) back to his Giant Country home after she inadvertently catches a glimpse of him going about his nightly job of distributing dreams to sleeping children. Aiming to protect himself from discovery, The BFG must soon instead protect his new friend from the other giants – who are all bigger and meaner than him and have begun sneaking off to the human world to abduct humans for food.
Next generation motion-capture and CGI animation were used to create the giants in The BFG – characters that display an impressive range of variation, from the smaller (for a giant) title character to a mountain-sized brute called “Fleshlumpeater” who serves as the villain of the piece: a bully who torments the peaceful non-human-eating BFG and suspects him of harboring humans. For more on that, check out the clips from the film, featured below:
The main thrust of the story involves The BFG and his new partner cultivating and distributing dreams – which appear in the film as hovering sprite-light creatures that are caught and bottled like fireflies (or fairies.) Spielberg’s adaptation also preserves the book’s famously scatalogical sense of humor, including a surprising number of fart jokes – something The BFG considers a tremendous pleasure and Spielberg renders with uncharacteristically mischievous glee, in the actual film.
While Spielberg remains one of the most celebrated figures in modern Hollywood, his films aren’t all massive box office hits the way they once were – though, his last two movies (Lincoln and Bridge of Spies) were both quite profitable. Although The BFG is only expected to reach a modest opening weekend number in the U.S. (when it faces off against The Legend of Tarzan), good word of mouth could propel it to greater commercial heights thereafter – to mention nothing of the international box office, where it ought to perform even better (like Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin did back in 2011).
The BFG opens in U.S. theaters on July 1st, 2016.
Source: Walt Disney Pictures