After months of casting, the official roster for The BFG is here. The Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic will star Mark Rylance as the title character and Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, the young orphan who travels to Giant Country. The film will also feature Penelope Wilton as The Queen, Rebecca Hall as Mary and Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Michael David Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Chris Gibbs, Adam Godley, Jonathan Holmes, Paul Moniz de Sa and Olafur Olaffson as giants.
The Walt Disney Studios has also joined the project to co-produce and co-finance, making The BFG the very first time Spielberg is directing a Disney-branded movie. Here’s what Spielberg had to say about the milestone:
“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.”
DreamWorks Studios CEO Michael Wright also added the following about the collaboration:
“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.’”
Spielberg is directing the film with a script by Melissa Mathison (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). Production is currently underway in Vancouver with the film heading towards a July 1, 2016 debut, nearly coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.