Monday, July 6, 2015

Roald Dahl's beloved "BFG" on its way to screens

The late and much-adapted British children's book author has another of his classics in the Hollywood pipeline: "The BFG," which stands for Big Friendly Giant, and which "ET" writer Melissa Mathison is screenplay-izing for DreamWorks.

Roald Dahl’s beloved “BFG” on its way to screens

Roald Dahl contemplates giants.
Roald Dahl contemplates giants.

For a writer who died 21 years ago, Roald Dahl manages to maintain exceptionally close Hollywood ties. In 2010, Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox -- the downright brilliant stop-motion animated feature -- nabbed several Oscar nominations.  Dahl’s kid lit-to-Tinseltown titles also include Matilda and James and the Giant Peach (both 1996), The Witches (1990), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and its 1971 precursor, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Not to mention innumerable TV and film screenwriting jobs (OK, we’ll mention two: the 1967 James Bonder, You Only Live Twice  (1967) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).)

And now, DreamWorks has recruited ET writer Melissa Mathison to bring Dahl’s The BFG – as in Big Friendly Giant – to the big screen.  It’s the story of a little girl who gets scooped up by a benevolent behemoth – a giant who collects dreams, and bestows the best of them on children. There was an animated version of BFG back in 1989, but this one, if it gets made, will be live-action. And it'll probably be full of contrasting, conflating wee-and-gigantic visual effects. As long as Jack Black’s not the title character, everything should be fine.   

Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Reach Steven at

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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