As I predicted, Disney's THE BFG is coming home for the holidays. Disney and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Walden Media, made the announcement today that the fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg will be released on Dec. 6 on Digital HD, Blu-ray™, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand (pre-order). Check out my review of the theatrical release here, and get all the details on the in-home release below!
#TheBFGEvent coverage comes to a close with some formal thoughts on Disney's The BFG
With a creative team that brings back together the combined talents of Director/Producer Steven Spielberg, Executive Producer Kathleen Kennedy, Composer John Williams and the late Melissa Mathison as Screenwriter, it's hard not to draw immediate comparisons to the first film to feature that magical creative mix - 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It was in that same year that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl saw the release of his book, The BFG - a tale of a young girl and her 24' friend, "The Big Friendly Giant." 34 years later, The BFG has come to life on the big screen as a spectacular adventure for the entire family, one that many are looking toward as an "E.T. for a new generation" - a designation that is inaccurate, this coming from a writer who loves E.T. enough to have a statue of the alien in his office, and has also come to love the wonders of Dream Country.
#TheBFGEvent Special Feature...
After tackling stage and screen (both large and small) in a career that has found her facing off against zombies in SHAUN OF THE DEAD, performing Shakespeare in HAMLET, becoming a part of the time-traveling DOCTOR WHO legacy, and recently having been a part of DOWNTON ABBEY, Dame Penelope Wilton has amassed a wealth of experience over the years, certainly giving the veteran actress some choice in finding her next role, but sometimes the decision comes without question: "If Steven Spielberg wants you to do a movie, you do it! Wouldn't you say?" she says with a laugh, recalling the moment her agent pitched her on playing The Queen in Spielberg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG. "Yes, I would!" agrees co-star Rebecca Hall (IRON MAN 3, THE GIFT), noting that her call came with the note that "it's not a very big part ,but he has asked specifically for you to do it." Having loved Dahl's 1982 book as a child, Hall signed on without even looking at a script.
"There's no redemption for these villains," declares Jermaine Clement, the FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS' Hiphopopotamus, spending some time throwing down some thoughts about his recent turn as "The Fleshlumpeater," the 50 ft leader of the man-eating giants in Disney's The BFG. At the London Hotel West Hollywood at Beverly Hills, Clement joins on-screen adversary Mark Rylance ("The Big Friendly Giant") in a room full of pop culture writers and bloggers from the family entertainment space, all eager to discuss Steven Spielberg's much-anticipated first film to bear the Disney mark. "The bad giants are a satire of adults and they’re very stuck in their ways and fearful of things - they’re so stupid that they’re dangerous without realizing it. There’s no reasoning with these characters because they won’t understand and they don’t care. The BFG needs Sophie to help overcome them."
“The BFG is something that I had spent years off and on developing. Many, many, years. And I must say many, many conversations with Steven (Spielberg) who I kept saying, ‘This is really right for you.’," recalled Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy when I spent some time with her at the global press event for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS last December. We were just a day or two out from the first teaser for Disney's The BFG, and Kennedy, whose collaboration with Spielberg dates back over three decades, was taking a momentary break from a galaxy far, far away to share some insight on a project that she'd invested much time in, and one that finally clicked at what could've been an inopportune time. "Within I would say a month after I decided to take over Lucasfilm he called me up and he goes, ‘You know, I read the script again and I really wanna make the movie.’ And I was, like, ready to go through the phone and strangle him!," she said with a smile and a chuckle, noting that the delays in making the The BFG actually served it well in that "the technology has caught up with making the film," allowing Spielberg to make something "quite spectacular." So why The BFG and why now? According to the director himself, "fate."
Like young Sophie is plucked from a window by The BFG ahead of an adventure in Giant Country, The Rock Father is plucked from Illinois by Disney for an adventure in 'Dream Country'... Hollywood.
It's pretty safe to say I live a dual-life at this point... or at least, it certainly seems like it at times. I have a bad habit of getting caught up in flight delays, and that's just what happened Wednesday night as my 5pm flight out of LAX became a 6:30-ish departure thanks to stormy weather in Chicago. A midnight landing found our plane without a gate, and by the time we had one an hour later, there was no one there to attach the sky bridge to the plane so we could properly deboard. By the time I was off the plane and caught the train to economy lot E followed by a quick bus ride to lot G and an hour drive home, I was back at HQ after 3am. I was running again by 7, my day consisting of taking the girls to/from Summer Academy/Camp, and stopping by Meijer for some groceries before half falling asleep on the couch with the kids while checking out LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. While my norm is here in Lake County, I was back on the red carpet for the U.S. Premiere of Disney's The BFG this week... another adventure, and a big one - for a friendly giant.