Sundi Rose
Updated December 16, 2014 10:37 am

Take a good long look. This is the face of the next big thing. World, meet Ruby Barnhill, the plucky, brown-eyed 10 year old picked by Steven Spielberg himself to play Sophie in his film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1982 book, The BFG.

Talk about your auspicious beginnings, Ruby has been acting for a few years now, but The BFG will be her first time starring in a feature film. Spielberg, in a recent statement, said of the newcomer, “I feel Roald Dahl himself would have found Ruby every bit as marvelous as we do. We have discovered a wonderful Sophie in Ruby Barnhill.”

Ruby is in mighty good company. The Spielberg machine routinely makes children into superstars. Anybody remember a little movie that came out in the ’80s called E.T.? That movie made Drew Barrymore a household name and paved the way for her mega-celebrity of today. Likewise for Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun. Ruby’s life is about to change, and even better, she’s about to change the lives of millions of children who have come to love Dahl‘s unconventional stories of dreamers and misfits.

The BFG is about a London orphan who befriends a kindly giant after discovering him one night during “the witching hour.” In the story, the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) collects good dreams, which he can hear with his enormous ears, and then redistributes them to children all over. He and Sophie come together to fight the evil giants and even have a meeting with the Queen of England. Like with most of Dahl’s children’s stories, there are adult themes to be found: self-sacrifice, the reward of friendship, the value of dreams, so it’s bound to be universally appealing. The movie will land in 2016.

The BFG is said to have been Roald Dahl’s favorite of all the books he wrote, and he’s given the world many, many beautifully written stories. His books like, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and James and the Giant Peach have all been read millions of times over and translated into beloved movies that are today a huge part of our shared childhood culture.

Ruby Barnhill is one lucky lady. To have the opportunity to work with a genius like Steven Spielberg is one thing, but it’s an entirely different matter to be able to bring a Roald Dahl story to audiences. Judging by that twinkle in her eye and that clever grin, it looks like Ruby is up to the task.

[Image , via]