Childhood memories: Return of the ‘Big Friendly Giant’

Spielberg brings screen adaptation of Roald Dahl book

News Desk June 23, 2016
Steven Spielberg, cast member Rebecca Hall and composer John Williams attend the premiere in Los Angeles. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has returned to making films through the eyes of children with The BFG, a big screen adaptation of the much-loved story by British author Roald Dahl.

The tale follows young Sophie, played by Ruby Barnhill, who comes across a giant, portrayed by Oscar winner Mark Rylance – a Big Friendly Giant (BFG) who, unlike his peers, does not eat children. Although Spielberg has made many family movies in his award-winning career, he has also directed more historical films such as Saving Private Ryan and Lincoln.

I haven’t really swum in this wading pool in a long time, Spielberg told Reuters at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles. “It was really nice to be able to just let my imagination roam free without being kind of fettered by all the precepts of history and all the truths you need to tell when you do a historical subject ... So all of us felt free and very happy to be returning to our childhoods to tell this story.”

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The BFG, which first screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, hits cinemas worldwide from June 30.

While he has tackled every genre, Spielberg stated he will never make a Star Wars film. “I’m never going to make a Star Wars film. That’s not my genre,” Variety quoted him as saying. “It’s certainly my buddy’s — the Thomas Edison of science fiction, George Lucas, who created the entire series. But that was never for me. I’m just a fan; I’m just with everybody else in the audience watching them.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2016.

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