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Wilton to play Queen in The BFG

Published 13/04/2015

Penelope Wilton has been cast as the Queen of England in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of The BFG
Penelope Wilton has been cast as the Queen of England in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of The BFG

Penelope Wilton is set for a royal role in Steven Spielberg's The BFG.

The Olivier-winning actress, 68, has been cast as the Queen of England in the Oscar-winning film-maker's big-screen adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel, with Rebecca Hall as her maid.

Flight Of The Conchords star Jemaine Clement has signed on to play a giant, alongside Bill Hader, Michael David Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Chris Gibbs, Adam Godley, Jonathan Holmes, Paul Moniz de Sa and Olafur Olaffson.

Tony-winning actor Mark Rylance is already on board to play the titular Big Friendly Giant, with newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie.

The film, which has started production in Vancouver, will be co-produced and co-financed by The Walt Disney Studios. This marks Spielberg's debut directing a Disney-branded movie.

"In more than 40 years of making movies, I have been on the producing end of a number of films for The Walt Disney Company, but never as a director," said the film-maker.

"It is a special joy to be in the director's chair as we start The BFG, alongside my long-time friends and film collaborators Kathy Kennedy, who introduced me to this project, Frank Marshall and Melissa Mathison. Together with them and Disney, there are many reasons why I am so excited about this joint venture."

The BFG, published in 1982, tells the tale of a young girl and a mysterious giant who introduces her to Giant Country.

The new film, based on Mathison's script, will be released by Entertainment One across the UK on July 22 2016, the year that coincides with the 100th anniversary of Dahl's birth.

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