WALDEN MEDIA JOINS DREAMWORKS STUDIOS’ ‘THE BFG’
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 5, 2015) – Walden Media, producer of such hit films as “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Charlotte’s Web,” and the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” series, will co-finance and co-produce DreamWorks Studios’ “The BFG.”
The deal was announced today by DreamWorks Studios President and COO Jeff Small and Walden Media President & CEO Frank Smith.
Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved classic story. “The BFG” is the exciting tale of a young London girl and the mysterious Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. It was published in 1982 and has been enchanting readers of all ages ever since. Dahl’s books, which also include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “Matilda” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” are currently available in 58 languages and have sold over 200 million copies worldwide. Tony Award winner Mark Rylance will play the titular “Big Friendly Giant, while newcomer Ruby Barnhill has been cast as ‘Sophie.’
Said Smith, “Walden is delighted to be involved with DreamWorks in bringing this imaginative and timeless Roald Dahl classic to the big screen. I cannot think of a more perfect director than Steven Spielberg to capture the magic and to tell this story.”
“When it comes to quality entertainment, Walden Media is an ideal partner for this exciting project, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have them on board,” said Jeff Small.
Melissa Mathison, who last teamed with Spielberg on “E.T.,” has written the screenplay. Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Sam Mercer will produce while Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden and Michael Siegel are on board as Executive Producers. Kristie Macosko Krieger and Adam Somner are Co-Producers.
Spielberg will begin production on “The BFG” in March 2015 and it will open in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016. The Walt Disney Company is distributing the film in the U.S. and select international territories while Mister Smith Entertainment will oversee distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. DreamWorks’ partner, Reliance, will distribute the film in India.
Walden Media most recently released “The Giver,” starring Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush and Taylor Swift and is now in post-production on Universal Pictures’ dramatic adventure/thriller “Everest” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, Keira Knightley, John Hawkes, Sam Worthington, Emily Watson and Robin Wright. Walden is also financing and producing a feature film adaptation of Alice Ozma’s bestselling memoir “The Reading Promise,” in collaboration with Relativity Media.
About Walden Media
Walden Media specializes in entertainment for the whole family, creating movies, books and television series that spark the imagination and delight all generations. A division of Philip Anschutz’s Anschutz Film Group (AFG), Walden Media productions celebrate a great book well told, a great life well lived, or an exploration that expands present possibilities – all while inspiring and entertaining its audience. Past award-winning films include: “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” series, “Nim’s Island,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Holes,” “Amazing Grace,” and the Sundance Audience Prize Winning documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman.”
For more information please visit www.Walden.com
About DreamWorks Studios
DreamWorks Studios is a motion picture company formed in 2009 and led by Steven Spielberg in partnership with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. The company’s recent releases include Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. The film has grossed over $180 million at the U.S. box office and was nominated for twelve Academy Awards with Daniel Day-Lewis winning for Best Actor. Other releases include “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” starring Helen Mirren, Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” based on Michael Morpurgo’s award-winning book and was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, and “The Help,” which resonated with audiences around the country and earned over $200 million at the box office and received four Academy Award nominations with Octavia Spencer winning for Best Supporting Actress.
About “The BFG”
First published in 1982, “The BFG” was Roald Dahl’s own favorite of his stories. Today, the book is published in 38 foreign languages, including Vietnamese, Korean, Ukrainian, Indonesian, Albanian, Estonian, Hebrew and Welsh.
“The BFG” will be the latest Roald Dahl title to be adapted for stage and screen, following major films including “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971), “James and the Giant Peach” (1996), “Matilda” (1996), “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005) and “Fantastic Mr Fox” (2009). The phenomenally successful award-winning “Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical” continues playing to packed audiences in the West End and on Broadway. In 2015, the show is set to open in Sydney and begin touring the USA. Additionally, over a million people have seen the West End musical production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” since its opening in June 2013.
About Roald Dahl and his legacy
Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most inventive, mischievous and successful storytellers. His stories are currently available in 58 languages, and, by conservative estimate, he has sold more than 200 million books. Ten percent of all the Roald Dahl royalties are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities – Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Roald Dahl Day is marked annually all over the world on Roald Dahl’s birthday, September 13th, and in 2016 there will be global celebrations for the Centenary of his birth, which will coincide with the release of “The BFG” movie.
For further information on “The BFG” and the wonderful world of Roald Dahl please visit: