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Steven Spielberg’s ‘The BFG’ Primed for U.K. Release With eOne

Entertainment One has set a July 22, 2016, release date in the U.K. for Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG,” an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book. EOne is the first international distributor to fix a date for the pic’s release.

“The BFG” — which is short for “Big Friendly Giant” — tells the tale of a young girl, the Queen of England and a benevolent giant known as the BFG, who set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world.

Melissa Mathison, who last worked with Spielberg on “E.T.,” is writing the script. Frank Marshall and Spielberg will produce the film, and Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden and Michael Siegel are on board as executive producers. “The BFG” will be a DreamWorks Studios and Amblin Entertainment production. The film will be released Stateside on July 1, 2016.

“It is fitting that the U.K. is the first international country to announce the date of ‘The BFG,’ a story that sprang from the imagination of this proud son from Wales,” Spielberg said. “We at DreamWorks Studios hope our film will add to Roald Dahl’s prolific legacy of entertainment.”

The book was published 1982 with illustrations by Quentin Blake. Dahl’s books have generated worldwide sales totaling 200 million books, with 37 million of these in the U.K. 2016 will mark the centenary of Dahl’s birth.

Alex Hamilton, managing director, eOne Films UK, said: “The world’s No. 1 storyteller in books and the world’s number one storyteller in film come together in the centenary year of Roald Dahl’s birth for the film of the summer. ‘The BFG’ has caught our golden phizzwizard, and is set to deliver it into the hearts and minds of everyone in the U.K. in 2016. This will be a giant film in every sense of the word.”

Luke Kelly, Dahl’s grandson and m.d. of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate, said: “We are so thrilled and excited at this collaboration between two storytelling giants — Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg. The fact that Steven is bringing one of my grandfather’s best-loved stories and characters to the big screen in the middle of the year in which we will celebrate Roald Dahl’s centenary is even more fantastic.”

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