Steven Spielberg has been chosen to direct a new film based on the classic Roald Dahl book, the Big Friendly Giant.

The BFG was first published in 1982, the tale of orphaned Sophie meeting a kindly giant quickly became a huge hit with children worldwide.

The Roald Dahl Literary Estate say the film will be released in 2016 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth. In a statement they said, “We are delighted that Steven Spielberg will bring his inventive genius to directing the story of The BFG”.

The screenplay will be written by Melissa Mathison, she wrote the Oscar nominated script for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which Spielberg co-produced and directed. Their collaboration produced the highest grossing film of all time, a global record it held until another Spielberg film, Jurassic Park, was released 10 years later.

The last film Spielberg directed was the historical epic ‘Lincoln’ in 2012, as well as BFG he is also producing a thriller starring Tom Hanks, which he may also direct.

In a statement on the Roald Dahl website he said “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 has not yet been cast but Paddy Power Bookmakers have already opened the book and have James Cromwell and Liam Neeson as joint favourites to play the lead role at 2/1.

Neeson would make the perfect Giant – an unusual craggy face, deep set eyes and more importantly for this role he’s very, very tall!

However there are plenty of other actors in the running with Clint Eastwood at 10/1, Tom Cruise at 50/1 and even ex wrestler Hulk Hogan has sneaked in there at 200/1.