The last time mega-famous filmmaker Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison collaborated on a project (besides Mathison’s uncredited work on the director’s segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie), the result was the record-smashing family fantasy classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Thirty-two years following the release of the film that popularized Reese’s Pieces and airborne bike riding, Spielberg and Mathison are getting together to adapt Roald Dahl‘s 1982 children’s book The BFG for the big screen.
Dreamworks purchased the film rights to the book back in 2011 and Mathison has been attached to write the script ever since. The BFG tells the story of a girl named Sophie (named for the author’s own granddaughter) who befriends a benevolent giant when she catches him distributing the good dreams he collects to her and other children. It turns out that there are also other giants who aren’t as friendly as the BFG and in fact like to eat human beings (especially the young ones) and Sophie and her newfound friend must enlist the help of the Queen of England and the British Army to stop the evil giants before they claim any more lives.
The book was previously made into an animated feature for British television in 1989. You can watch it here below.
Spielberg’s longtime producer and fellow director Frank Marshall is set to produce the new adaptation for Dreamworks alongside Michael Siegel. Kathleen Kennedy was once attached to produce as well, but she had to depart the project to take over running LucasFilm when it was sold to Disney in late 2012. The BFG is the latest production to be added to Spielberg’s development slate; he also has an adaptation of the David Kertzer novel The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, an untitled Cold War film starring Tom Hanks, a feature version of Daniel H. Wilson’s 2011 best-seller Robopocalypse, and Montezuma all competing to be his next directorial effort.