One of the hallmarks of a Roald Dahl adaptation is a plucky child, be it Charlie Bucket, Matilda Wormwood or James Henry Trotter, and now we can add another to the list as director Steven Spielberg’s The BFG casts newcomer Ruby Barnhill in the role of Sophie, a young London girl introduced to the beauty and peril of Giant Country.
The BFG will mark 10-year-old Barnhill’s first feature film, having previously been cast in the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning children’s drama “Four O’Clock Club,” as well as performing local youth theatre in her hometown of Cheshire. She will appear opposite Mark Rylance (The Other Boleyn Girl) as the mysterious Big Friendly Giant.
“I feel incredibly lucky and I’m so happy,” said Ruby Barnhill. “Sophie gets to go on this wonderful adventure and I’m so excited that I get to play her.”
“After a lengthy search, I feel Roald Dahl himself would have found Ruby every bit as marvelous as we do,” said Steven Spielberg. “We have discovered a wonderful Sophie in Ruby Barnhill.”
Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Sam Mercer will produce The BFG from a screenplay by Melissa Matheson (E.T.), with production commencing in early 2015 with a U.S. release date on July 1, 2016. The Walt Disney Company is distributing the film in the U.S.