Disney is joining as co-producer and co-financier of Steven Spielberg’s adaptation The BFG, which is now filming in Vancouver.
This marks the first time that the director is helming a Disney-branded movie.
The film is based on Roald Dahl’s popular children’s book, centering on a young London girl named Sophie and the mysterious giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country.
Mark Rylance will play the titular “Big Friendly Giant” and newcomer Ruby Barnhill is starring as Sophie. Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Michael David Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Chris Gibbs, Adam Godley, Jonathan Holmes, Paul Moniz de Sa and Ólafur Ólaffson also star. Penelope Wilton will play the Queen of England and Rebecca Hall will star 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. Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Sam Mercer will produce while Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden, Michael Siegel and Kristie Macosko Krieger are on board as executive producers.
“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,” said Steven Spielberg. “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.”
The Disney/Amblin/Reliance production in association with Walden Media will open in U.S. theaters in July 1, 2016.