Now for some Hollywood-typical contract news (honestly, who doesn’t love reading about a good contract, eh?), but who’s been signing contracts and what on earth for? Today, it’s the turn of Steven Spielberg, who’s signed a contract promising that he’s going to direct the film adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s much-loved The BFG.

Apparently, and because everything moves very slowly in Hollywood, Spielberg’s DreamWorks studio first got hold of the rights to the story in 2011 and since then both John Madden and Chris Columbus had been vying for possible director-dom. Of course, now that Spielberg is on board, those two are as good as dead to the whole project.

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Melissa Mathison, who previously wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for 1982’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, has written the script and Michael Siegel, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are set to produce.

The BFG has enchanted families and their children for more than three decades,” reads a statement on Spielberg’s official website, adding, “We are honoured that the Roald Dahl estate has entrusted us with this classic story.”

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The BFG was first published way back when in 1982 and tells the story of the unlikely friendship between an orphan girl and a giant (the eponymous big, friendly one in question) and has only been subject to adaptation once, albeit only for an animated TV movie, but in Hollywood language, this means it’s ripe for a million more, of which this will be the first, and in all likelihood, the best, given who’s on board. Still, that could be cynicism talking. Only time will tell.

2012’s Lincoln is Spielberg’s most recent feature length, but over the last few years the movie making overlord has been reported to be interested in several projects, including an untitled Cold War thriller with Tom Hanks, Fox’s Robopocalypse and Montezuma.

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