Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie’s presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all.
Roald Dahl is a beloved children’s author whose books don’t usually translate into movie blockbusters. The most successful film, the 2005 adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, made a very modest worldwide gross of 475 million US dollars even starring Johnny Depp. However, with the help of CGI characters and Steven Spielberg, Disney is trying again with “The BFG”. There are no household names and in this age of Harry Potter and Captain Underpants, are children even still reading Dahl or is it just their parents’ fond memories? In the last few years, surveys have shown that modern children aren’t as likely to read Dahl and when they do, they don’t enjoy his books as much as previous generations.
However, it does look like a Dahl adaptation practically perfect in every way; dark and whimsical with the POV never straying from Sophie’s side. The title character appears very sympathetic. Thank goodness, they didn’t try to place it in a modern setting or move it to the United States or change Sophie into a boy for broader appeal! This is also the last screenplay for Melissa Mathison. The writer, most known for “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial”, passed away last November. Still, a collaboration between Amblin and Disney adapting a Roald Dahl book…it has to be good, right?
“The BFG” comes out in the United States on July 1, 2016.