Roald Dahl's story The BFG is a much-loved book and many fans were worried that director Steven Spielberg's live-action interpretation would either change it too much so the nostalgia would be gone or tell everything so word-for-word that it didn't possess its own value. But according to titular star Mark Rylance, doubters have nothing to fear with the Disney version as, while some aspects have been tinkered with, it's still pretty faithful.
"It's a very different story. It's an English story," the Bridge Of Spies actor said of the original book when speaking to Collider. "I like the fact that (screenwriter) Melissa [Mathison] and Steven both respected the book and kept it pretty close to the book but just reordered some things in a way that I think Roald Dahl might actually think it was a good idea."
Like many of Dahl's tales, The BFG is no exception when it comes to having truly dark moments but Rylance also reassured the publication that Spielberg kept his adaptation more aimed at young children by editing out certain aspects of Sophie and the BFG's interactions.
"There's more quirky, odd dialogue in the book, but you get highlights of each conversation," he explained. "They've cut out some of the funny things that The BFG says about human beings and how crazy it is that they kill each other, all the time, but, it's probably as original as the book."
Like the book, the film centres on young orphaned girl Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), who gets whisked up and taken to a magical land by the Big Friendly Giant, when she spots him sneaking about in London during the wee hours of the morning. Luckily for Sophie, despite his intimidating appearance, her new acquaintance actually turns out to be a kind-hearted soul who has been rejected by his fellow giants because he refuses to eat children like they do.
As the pair become unlikely friends, the more violent giants become suspicious that the BFG is harbouring Sophie, forcing them to combine their individual skills to thwart the gang of bullies.
BFG - the sequel?
But while The BFG has always been a recognisably-standalone piece of literature since its publication in 1982, Rylance has his own idea of how to revisit Giant Country in potential follow-up films too. "If I were to do a sequel, it would be with Sophie as a very old woman and The BFG the same, a bit like that Let the Right One in film," he revealed. "You could see Sophie as a teenager, but that would be a little bit hard.
"I think it would be more interesting when she's maybe had a family herself, and maybe everyone thinks she's crazy and that it was all just a thing she made up, as a kid, but secretly, The BFG comes and visits her, as an old woman. It's platonic. It's a love story between an old person, like a grandfather, and a granddaughter. That's something that a lot of people connect with."
The BFG is out in US cinemas from today (1 July) and will reach big screens in the UK on the 22nd.
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