Famed director of Indiana Jones, E.T. and Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg, has been talking about his upcoming Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG ahead of its Cannes world premiere. Here are five delightful nuggets of info he's teased.
1. It's the first Disney movie he's ever made
Yes, amazingly given his longstanding reputation for classic family entertainment, Spielberg has never worked with the Mouse House... until now.
"I have directed films at every studio except [The] Walt Disney [Studios]," Spielberg tells Disney D23 Magazine. "This was the first time that I got to make a picture that has Sleeping Beauty's castle -- and has Disney embossed on the beginning and the end of the picture -- and I'm really proud of that."
Given how enchanting Spielberg's best movies are purely on their own terms, we can only imagine the extraordinary impact of The BFG.
2. However, like all of us, he's loved Disney since a young age
The Disney magic settled in early for Spielberg, which surely accounts for the heartfelt emotional impact of his classic movies like E.T.
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has always been my favorite Disney movie," he says. "I saw it in a movie theater during its ninth revival, when I was only probably 7 or 8 years old. And it stuck with me. And it's with me today, remembering it as vividly now and being so frightened and terrified as I was when I was a little kid, and at the same time so filled with the feeling of satisfaction at that amazing ending and pride in Snow White."
3. Roald Dahl has always been with the Spielberg family
Dahl's blackly comic yet endearing novels like The BFG, Matilda and The Witches have enchanted (and continue to enchant) generations of young readers. And Spielberg's own children were no different.
"I've spent all my years as a father reading great children's books to my kids and 'The BFG' was one of them," Spielberg explains.
4. The movie's special effects will break the mould
Bridge of Spies Oscar winner Mark Rylance will be bringing the BFG to life via the latest cutting-edge motion capture technology, whereby an actor's physical performance is interpreted and rendered as an extraordinary CGI creation. Spielberg has past form in this area with his 2011 adventure The Adventures of Tintin utilising motion capture animation to bring Herge's beloved literary creation to the screen.
"Motion capture allowed us to plan scene by scene and then have the visual effects team bring them to life as living, breathing characters", says Spielberg of The BFG. "Hopefully, you're going to forget that there's any special effects in The BFG, because it's invisible. You will just believe they exist in the same world."
5. John Williams is set to deliver another dazzling score
Few director/composer partnerships are as revered as the Spielberg/Williams duo, their list of collaborations encompassing an extraordinary array of unforgettable movies including the aforementioned movies at the start of this feature, Jaws, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse and countless others. Spielberg says Williams (seen below) is his musical muse and beautifully articulates the emotional impact of a given scene.
"I will tell John my story by showing him my cut and he goes away and eight weeks later, he tells a story musically," Spielberg explains. "He has done this brilliantly with 'The BFG.' Every moment is accompanied by a little bit of a musical reminder that there is another layer of story being told."