Steven Spielberg Will Direct Adaptation Of Roald Dahl's 'The BFG'

Director and jury president Steven Spielberg acknowledges applause during the opening ceremony ahead of the screening of The Great Gatsby at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Director and jury president Steven Spielberg acknowledges applause during the opening ceremony ahead of the screening of The Great Gatsby at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Roald Dahl's novels have remained a steady source of big-screen success, and now Steven Spielberg is set to bring "The BFG" to theaters, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The classic story has been gestating at DreamWorks since 2011, when producer Kathleen Kennedy bought the rights. John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") was originally tapped to direct but moved on to helm "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2" instead. Now, Spielberg will reteam with "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" screenwriter Melissa Mathison to bring Dahl's 1982 children's book to life.

The titular BFG refers to the Big Friendly Giant, who joins forces with the young Sophie to put a stop to his fellow giants' monstrous ways. Along the way, the queen of England -- a character Dahl based on Elizabeth II -- joins their quest. (When's the last time someone asked Helen Mirren if she'd ever reprise her Oscar-winning role?)

"The BFG" became an animated movie on the U.K.'s ITV in 1989 and has also been performed as a stage play. Spielberg's adaptation will mark the story's first big-screen treatment. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "James and the Giant Peach," "The Witches," "Matilda" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" are among the Dahl stories that have become substantial film hits.

"The BFG" is eyeing a 2015 shoot and a mid-2016 release.

[via THR]