Let’s wave goodbye to 2015! Good times, bad times we’ve had them all – but you know what they say, as one door closes, another one opens. Over the coming month we’ll be bringing you a snapshot of everything 2016 has to offer – the good, the bad and the ugly. Hold on to your hats folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Having spent the past few years focusing on more somber projects such as Lincoln and War Horse, Steven Spielberg is returning to the world of family films with his adaption of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.
This childhood classic follows the adventures of Sophie (played by newcomer Ruby Barnhill), a young girl who is taken from her orphanage to ‘Giant Country’ by the eponymous Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance). However, while all giants are big, not all are friendly and so Sophie and the BFG work together to bring justice to those ‘human-bean’-eating giants.
Considering Spielberg is often regarded as the originator of the ‘Hollywood blockbuster’, expectations are running high for his follow-up to Bridge of Spies, which is currently enjoying much critical acclaim during this awards season. However, judging by the first teaser trailer released in December, The BFG seems to have a similar tone to Pan, one of the biggest flops of 2015. With any luck, this comparison won’t extend to the full feature – with a cast consisting of Rebecca Hall and Penelope Wilton (as the Queen, no less), and Spielberg at the helm. One would hope that this film would at least be a critical success.
Another interesting, and perhaps surprising, casting choice is Bill Hader (best known for his fantastic work on Saturday Night Live) as an evil giant named The Bloodbottler. On SNL, Hader has been part of some of the show’s funniest sketches due to his ability to impersonate several accents and exaggerate any idiosyncrasies a character may have. Hopefully this means his contribution to The BFG will be comedic as well as antagonistic.
After delving into the depths of various wars – whether it’s the First World War or the American Civil War – The BFG will see Spielberg come back to a genre that he helped amplify. In July, we’ll see if he was right to do so.