On Christmas Day in 1989, ITV aired an animated film based on the book, with David Jason providing the voice of the BFG and Amanda Root as the voice of Sophie. The film was dedicated to animator George Jackson who worked on numerous Cosgrove Hall Productions.
Producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy began development for a big budget adaptation of The BFG in 1991, and set the project up with Paramount Pictures. Husband and wife screenwriters Robin Swicord and Nicholas Kazan wrote a screenplay adaptation in 1998, with Robin Williams in mind for the title role. By 2001, the script had been rewritten by Gwyn Lurie, which was greeted with positive feedback from the Dahl estate. In September 2011 it was announced that DreamWorks had picked up the film rights with Melissa Mathison adapting a new script. In April 2014, it was announced that Steven Spielberg will direct the film, shooting in 2015 with plans for a 2016 release. Spielberg stated, "The BFG has enchanted families and their children for more than three decades. We are honoured that the Roald Dahl estate has entrusted us with this classic story." The film will be released on 1 July 2016, and distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, except for territories in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, where the film's distribution rights will be sold by Mister Smith Entertainment to independent distributors. DreamWorks' financial partner, Reliance Entertainment will release the film in India. Entertainment One will release the film on 22 July 2016 in the UK. It was announced at the end of October 2014 that three-time Tony Award-winning actor Mark Rylance will star in the title role. Spielberg was quoted as saying of him that "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 honoured he has chosen The BFG as his next big screen performance." On March 5, 2015, according to Deadline, it was announced that Walden Media has joined to co-finance and co-produce the movie. In April 2015, Walt Disney Pictures agreed to co-produce and co-finance the film alongside DreamWorks, Amblin Entertainment, and Walden.