DreamWorks has announced that the lead for the latest Steven Spielberg film, The BFG, will be Tony Award-winning stage actor Mark Rylance (The Other Boleyn Girl). Adapted from the Roald Dahl children’s novel by screenwriter Melissa Mathison (E.T.), the story follows a young girl, the Queen of England, and a benevolent giant named The BFG (Rylance), as the three adventure to take on the malicious, cannibalistic giants that have invaded their world.
Primarily known for his work on the stage, performing in such productions as Twelfth Night, Jerusalem, and Much Ado About Nothing, Rylance has already won the admiration of Spielberg as well as those heading Dahl’s Literary Estate. Said the famous director in a statement:
As I witnessed on stage, Mark Rylance is a transformational actor. I am excited and thrilled that Mark will be making this journey with us to Giant Country. Everything about his career so far is about making the courageous choice and I’m honored he has chosen The BFG as his next big screen performance.”
Before filming begins next year, Rylance will be busy with another Spielberg project, the Cold War thriller St. James Place, starring Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump). He will also be working alongside Sean Penn in The Gunman, as well as with Daniel Bruhl (Rush) in Alone in Berlin. Being cast in two Spielberg movies, on top of his growing list of films, should surely bolster Rylance’s career and aid his transition from the stage to the big screen.