Steven Spielberg to direct The BFG

In an unexpected move, Steven Spielberg has signed up to direct a new version of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, The BFG .

E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison has written the script, meaning expectations will be very high on this one.

The BFG (short for big, friendly giant) previously appeared in an animated British film back in 1989 (which the lumbering dream-catcher voiced by David Jason).

Spielberg’s version is reported to be live-action, although it’s unclear at this early stage whether the BFG will be created with CGI, performance-capture or an old-fashioned human actor and camera trickery. The other key role to cast will be Sophie, the young girl who joins the BFG on an adventure.

A typically idiosyncratic Dahl affair, here's hoping the new film retains the book's inimitable language of snozzcumbers and whizzpoppers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) , the ‘Berg is gearing up for a 2015 start date, meaning that he might have time for a smaller film before then - a Cold War thriller with Tom Hanks may still happen ahead of The BFG .

The BFG is expected to open in 2016.

Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.