Steven Spielberg making Disney directing debut in Vancouver

Steven Spielberg, pictured in February 2015. Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

TORONTO — Steven Spielberg is making his Disney debut in Vancouver.

The Walt Disney Studios announced Monday it is co-producing and co-financing Spielberg’s The BFG — marking the first time the Oscar winner is directing a Disney-branded movie.

The BFG is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1982 children’s book about a young London girl who is introduced to Giant Country by the titular “big friendly giant.”

Starring Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill, the movie is shooting in Vancouver until mid-June under the code name Big Valley.

Bill Hader, Penelope Wilson and Rebecca Hall are also in the cast, which includes Toronto native Michael Adamthwaite and Vancouver’s Paul Moniz de Sa.

“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,” Spielberg said in a release.

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“Together with them and Disney, there are many reasons why I am so excited about this joint venture.”

The BFG is scheduled to open on Canada Day in 2016.

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