As we mentioned earlier this year, Steven Spielberg will be directing his first Disney film “The BFG” that’s due out next July. Today, though, he has shared the film’s first teaser trailer that gives us our first look at that Big Friendly Giant himself.
Based off the 1982 novel written by classic childhood storyteller Roald Dahl, “The BFG” once again plays to the Walt Disney Studio’s strategy of creating live-action films out of classic storybook tales. Spielberg’s take on the Dahl classic is just one in a long line of similar past movies like “Alice in Wonderland” and upcoming movies like “Beauty and the Beast”.
“The BFG” is perfectly suited to continue in the Studio’s 2016 slate as Walt and Dahl actually knew each other and admired each other’s storytelling passions. Commenting on Dahl, Spielberg added “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.”
It’s also fitting for the late Dahl as the film is going to be released on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
As for how the film will either stay true to the novel or be modified for the “Big” Screen, we do have a very small hint through the film’s rather long synopsis, which was also released:
The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle.
Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams.
Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows. But Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Says Spielberg, “It’s a story about friendship, it’s a story about loyalty and protecting your friends and it’s a story that shows that even a little girl can help a big giant solve his biggest problems.”
Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see Queen Victoria (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.
While the story has slightly differed from Dahl’s original, the language of the film was something that Spielberg wanted to keep true as it was simple and meaningful for all ages. After all it, it was written as a bedtime story (and Dahl’s personal favorite).
Adding their talents to the film are some of the galaxy’s finest including John Williams (music) and Kathleen Kennedy (producer), both fresh off from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
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