It has been announced today that Ruby Barnhill, a 10 year old girl from Cheshire, England, will take on the role of Sophie in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming big screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.  She joins actor, theatre director, and playwright Mark Rylance who is set to play the movie’s titular Big Friendly Giant.

Despite the fact that she’s actually been acting for two years, The BFG marks Barhill’s first feature role.

The novel was published in 1982, and follows the story of a young London girl and the world’s only benevolent giant who introduces her to the beauty and peril of Giant Country. The two later set off on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world.

The BFG begins production early next year and is set to be released on July 22nd, 2016 in the UK.

“I feel Roald Dahl himself would have found Ruby every bit as marvellous as we do. We have discovered a wonderful Sophie in Ruby Barnhill,” Spielberg said in a statement. Barnhill adds: “I feel incredibly lucky and I’m so happy. Sophie gets to go on this wonderful adventure and I’m so excited that I get to play her.”

Luke Kelly, Managing Director of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Dahl’s grandson, said, “The character of Sophie is one of the most endearing young heroes in Roald Dahl’s stories. She is as brave as she is curious and has an innate sense of wonder. Many congratulations to Ruby on landing the role. We hope that making The BFG proves an utterly magical adventure for her.” Stay tuned to HeyUGuys for more updates on The BFG!

Ruby Barnhill