Spielberg takes on daunting challenge to bring 'The BFG' to life

Fri Jul 1, 2016 3:02am EDT
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(Reuters) - Steven Spielberg has rarely shied away from a challenge, from deadly sharks in "Jaws" to resurrecting dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park," but when it came to creating a giant for "The BFG," his latest film, the veteran director found the prospect "very daunting."

"I don't usually get intimidated by technology," Spielberg told Reuters TV.

"I usually try and be at the forefront of technology, but this time I was in the wake of it. It took me a couple of weeks to get my sea legs to really realize how I could best utilize the medium of motion capture."

"The BFG," a Walt Disney film out in theaters on Friday, tells the story of Sophie, an orphaned girl who encounters the Big Friendly Giant (BFG), played by Oscar-winning British actor Mark Rylance and brought to life using motion-capture animation.

The title character of Walt Disney Co's "The BFG," based on British author Roald Dahl's book of the same name, is no ordinary giant. He doesn't eat children, unlike his fellow giants, and instead collects and creates dreams to spread through the country under the cover of nighttime.

"Every film of a book brings out a certain essential thing of the book," Rylance said. "In film you need experience and plot. So it's very faithful to the book, but it's a different creature than the book."

When Sophie, played by newcomer Ruby Barnhill, sees the BFG one night, he takes her back to his home in the land of giants out of fear that she might give away his secret.

The plucky girl quickly becomes a friend and confidante to help the kind, gentle giant from being bullied by his larger, uncultured brethren.

"The BFG" marks the 30th feature film by the 69-year-old Spielberg, who has won three Oscars over a career spanning five decades that includes "Indiana Jones," "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan." Spielberg will be returning for the fifth installment of "Indiana Jones" with star Harrison Ford, due for release in 2019.   Continued...

Composer John Williams (L) and director Steven Spielberg (R) attend the premiere of "The BFG" in Los Angeles, U.S., June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Phil McCarten